3D printing with ABS: Hotter nozzle or hotter ambient? #Filaween

3D printing with ABS: Hotter nozzle or hotter ambient? #Filaween

Let’s talk about ABS. So after the Filaween
episode on the Innofil3D ABS, i got of ton of comments, some questioning my sanity, essentially,
because i pointed out a flaw with ABS, which is that layer adhesion basically disappears
if you don’t use an actively heated build chamber or even just an enclosure of an kind
– and I had deliberately made that choice, because, let’s face it, at least 99% of
all printers out there don’t have a fully enclosed build chamber, let alone one that
has an active heater in there. In fact, none of the printers i own and only a single machine
capable of printing ABS that’s ever been in this workshop was enclosed, and that was
the CEL Robox. So while Filaween is supposed to be a series about typical, real-world performance
of these materials, and not lab-grade tests and perfect-world conditions, almost every
single material still has that same tradeoff – either you print cold, that is with a lower
hotend temperature, in a colder environment or use a stronger part cooling fan, or you
print hot and crank the temperatures up so high that you end up with a super solidly
fused brick that looks nothing like the original part you wanted. Well, where you want your
parts to end up on that scale is totally up to you, but i try to test somewhere in the
middle ground temperature-wise where you get parts that remain mechanically accurate and
usable, but still get good strength. But of course, that will vary depending on what the
part you’re printing is being used for. So i ran a few more tests on the Innofil3D
natural ABS. I bumped up the temperature to 240°C, as you all suggested, though i’d
personally have lowered the temperature for all the curling i was already seeing. Then
i re-ran the strength tests in open air, in an enclosed chamber and in the enclosed chamber
with the part cooling fan at a fixed 20% setting. Now, the “chamber” I’m using here is
just the shipping crate the Dynamo3D OnePro came in, and with the printer’s heated bed
going and the cracks sealed off as good a i can, it reaches 32 to 35°C in there, which,
as you’ll see, already has quite an impact. If you don’t want to commit to building
a chamber around your 3D printer, you could also just grab a trashbag or two and plop
that over your printer, that should already be enough to have it heat up to where ABS
will work much, much better. Now, of course, this doesn’t just apply
to ABS, i’ve also A-B tested rigid.ink’s ASA, which, as you can see, also profits greatly
from that extra ambient temperature, and other filaments like HIPS, Taulman’s 910 and PC-ABS
also benefit from an exclosure. So let’s look at the strength numbers: As
expected, the higher temperature by itself as well as when combined with the enclosure
make this ABS a great deal stronger, almost doubling the rating it got at the original
235° in open air. What did surprise me was that adding a fan seemed to increase strength
even more – it’s just a tiny bit, but i’d assume that’s only from the layers lining
up better. And really, it should have been obvious, because print quality took a plunge
with both the extra temperature and when adding an enclosure. At its worst, even the vertical
walls are completely jagged and unusable. Yes, that is very definitely a temperature
issue. Now you could counteract that by increasing
minimum layer time, but at the same time, that will reduce layer adhesion, so really,
you’re not gaining anything. So while strength was much better with the
higher temperature and the enclosure added, again, it’s a tradeoff between quality and
strength, and realistically, if you add all those countermeasures of using a part cooling
fan, going slower etc because you’re effectively printing too hot, that’s going to put your
prints very close to where you started out. It looks like the filament just has that heat
limit of how hot and fast you’re printing, how warm your ambient temperature is and how
much heat you’re sucking back out with a fan.
What i also think makes a huge difference in this entire topic is the filament itself,
obviously. In this case i used Innofil3D’s material to give it a second chance, but it
seems like it’s one of those, i don’t want to say watery, but definitely higher
flow and lower melt strength materials. The Esun ABS i have also performs extremely similar
there, with you either ending up with weak parts or temperature artifacts. Even rigid.ink’s
ASA still profits a lot from the enclosed chamber, but has much less apparent artifacting
from it. And particularly ABS blends can perform significantly better or worse than others,
as we’ve seen with the REC ABS. So, should you be using an enclosed chamber
for ABS and similar filaments? Yeah, i’d say, it’s a good idea to have one, even
and especially for the better filaments, and to be honest, unless you’re living at the
equator with no air conditioning, i’d heavily advise against using ABS without an enclosure.
It’s not just for how your parts will turn out, but it’s also about health and safety,
as ABS is one of the materials with a higher particle count and an enclosure can help keep
the fumes constrained. Performance-wise, I’ll just repeat it again, even though i know the
comments will disagree, but for normal users that don’t need that last bit of temperature
stability and don’t vapor-smooth everything they print, copolyesters aka PET and PETG
are just a much better choice. And even for mechanical applications that involve a bit
of heat, PETG is a great option. It’s tough, it’s reasonably temperature resistant and
so much easier to print well. Point in case – i printed the spindle motor holder for my
MendelMax 3 CNC conversion from Ultimaker CPE and DAS FILAMENT PETG and it’s holding
up perfectly. Now, does that mean ABS is universally a bad
material and you shouldn’t use it at all? No. It has its uses, but i believe that for
many jobs, there are just better and more consistent alternatives out there. Over the
years, I’ve not encountered a bad copolyester yet, but I’ve come across many ABS filaments
that didn’t perform as expected. So what do you think? Have you made similar
experiences yet? Are you running ABS on a daily basis as your main material? I’d really
like to know in the comments below. Either way, I hope this video is helpful to
you. If you liked it, give it a thumbs up, consider subscribing to the channel, and because
Youtube is being sorta weird about it, remember to also click that bell next to the subscribe
button or you might end up missing some videos altogether.
Also check out the affiliate links from the video description to shop on Amazon, eBay,
Matterhackers and iGo3D, those don’t cost you a single penny extra, or if you want to
support this channel with a spare dollar or two, head over to Patreon and get access to
monthly Q&A hangouts and more. And that’s it for today, thanks for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one.

local_offerevent_note September 26, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


63 thoughts on “3D printing with ABS: Hotter nozzle or hotter ambient? #Filaween”

  • Here at the equator, I just need to bring the printer outside under the sun and ABS will print without a heated enclosure.

  • We pretty much standardised on ABS for our Robox at work but even then results could be variable, Cel recently started stocking FormFutura's TitanX ABS on their SmartReel and I've been very impressed, maybe a premium price but worth every penny.
    On the FlashForge Creator Pro we've been sticking with PLA after an early ABS test had really bad warping, with experimentation we could probably get ok performance on there too tbf.

    So I've now ordered a CR-10 for home and whilst I'm mainly planning on printing PLA I'll definitely be looking to build an enclosure to give me the flexibility of the occasional ABS print.

  • ya hazmat suits and drones for opening our vault entrance while i print a hello kitty keychain in toxic abs underground……heres a better question, optimal temp fan combo for this setup he is running, cuz im not here for osha training im here to hopefully get a better idea of how to really get awesome abs quality from a wanhao clone enclosed printer setup. Forgive my sarcasm I just failed a 150g print.

  • Yeee i have a made a printer dat looks a litel bit like a ultimaker ad add a door and a cap on the top that machine eat's abs foor diner prints turn out Nice

    I live in Holland so in the winter the Room i printing in is 5 C ❄️ and inside my Printer it is 40 C 🔥

  • My first 3D printer was DaVinci 1.0A which has an enclosure and I put Repetier on it. For over 2 years now I have been printing only ABS and never had a problem, I didn't even know what warping was until I read about it. Never had a nozzle jam, not once. I very often print prototypes with very thin walls (0.2-0.6mm), they are strong enough and it is fast to print. I set bed temperature to 90C and nozzle 235C, used all kinds of cheap ABS from Ebay and didn't have a single problem. I guess the only downside I can think of is smell, not sure it that could be a health issue, so I recently bought another printer to experiment with PLA. But so far PLA has been more challenging (struggling now with stringing, I have bowden extruder so retraction is not as effective).

  • i run abs all day every day. in building a enclosure now out of a ikea table and styrofoam plate.

  • Hey Tom…..check this out….I found out something a lot of people can have fun with. Before I tell you what it is…..I KNOW I am the first person to discover this method so…if you do a video on it….mention my name….John Holmgren (stratairious) as the creator of this idea….ok…here is the idea…AND I have done this ..and it's so cool. I took a magic felt marker… brand is (magic) as the filament was getting ready to run through the extruder….I marked the filament with a bit of black felt marker…..when my object it was printed….a thin black line showed up in my model i printed. I repeated the process with green and red felt marker on white filament…and low and behold…guess what….a green line and a red line showed up in my print….it's really cool. when you mark the filament. Mark about a 1 inch area all around the filament 360degrees about an inch high….and space the markings about 5 inches apart with different colors. please…if you try this and make a video about it…at least mention my name as the creator of this idea.

  • Hi Thomas, I live close enough to the equator (Jamaica) and we have drafts of cool air that will affect your prints . I've just gotten the materials to build my enclosure. I'll give you an update when I get my printer dialed in.

  • After all the videos and myself trying to print with this material I found out that it is not ABS! it is THE BS! LOL!

  • Hi Thomas , I have done some testing since the last time I left a message here, I have notice that my results are simular to yours even in Jamaica. The temperature here runs between 28 degrees and 31 degrees Celsius during the day and 26 to 28 degrees at night so it is pretty constant, however ABS seems to start lifting of the bed as soon as the print reaches the fourth layer ( bed temp 90 degrees Celsius ), I turned up the temp on the bed (100 degrees Celsius ) and while it would stay down longer, either there would be a shift with the model or it would release itself completely off the bed, I'm in the process of building an enclosure as we speak .

  • I live in Egypt, room temperature can get very hot 48C hot, i don't think i need an enclosure 😂😂😂

  • I routinely print ABS (eSun brand) without an enclosure with great results. And, I don't live at the equator. I live in the Los Angeles area.

  • Hi Thomas. There is something about your video: you talked about useing a part fan for ABS (haveing a heated chamber of course). You should make a video going deeper into this, it would be really interesting because the "normal" acepted "standar" is that you never use a part fan with abs. I would really like to see tests about this

  • I do not disagree with anything you are saying however I have been able to print in abs without an enclosure and achieve really good prints. was a lot of trial and error, but I got it to work….

  • I have my printer in a nice little cupboard… the air inside gets up to about 40C (during long prints) and ABS prints quite well 🙂

  • Another reason to build an enclosure: You won't roast to death from your printer overwhelming your crappy air conditioner in the middle of Summer, since more of the heat hangs out in the box. If the air around the printer is warmer, the hotend and bed heater don't have to work as hard, so they generate less heat over the course of a print. That also means a little power savings, though that might go right out the window with active heating.

  • How hot do the 3d printer parts actually get when printing with an enclosure? If I have a printer made with PETG parts, will they survive being in an enclosure with a heated bed at 100º?

  • I haven't found abs to be that bad to work with. It stick well to glass with glue stick. I just tape over the fan duct that blows on the extruded filament. The only issue I have is with bridging,it sucks at that, but what can expect for blocking the fan duct?

  • I print mostly ABS. Cheap Chinese no brand. I have heated chamber. Normally it runs about 60-65 degrees on the top of the box above print bed, around 50-60 in far top corner. Heated bed usually 100 so the part has temperature something between 60 and 100. I use cooling fan only for layers under 100 sec. And try to keep layers over 30 seconds. So slowing down small parts. For nice print I speed 25 mm/s walls and 50 inside. If I need something quick I print 80 outer walls and 150 mm/s insides. And it is still quite strong. I use quite cool extrusion temperatures, slow mode 215 and fast 225 or 230 degrees. Everything looks ok. I have used PETG as support material but with ABS it was horrible as in this environment it never really gets firm. Second material I use often is Nylon. I am going to make new printer with electronic outside to be able to keep ambient temperature of the box around 100 degrees. But I am not sure if it helps prevent curving for Nylon. Probably not but but why not to do it if I can. I get better results of big parts from ABS then any my tries with PETG or PLA. For PLA I would probably need cooling box. I do not want to have open, as the printer makes noise and in the box I can not hear it almost, but it gets too hot inside for PLA if it is closed. A lot of heat is made by extruder and electronics so It is everyone choice. If you make the closed box you might have problems with printing PLA then.

    By the way. The box is completely tight and I smell fumes only when opened. But it is made from wood and when it is hot I get dew point about 27-30 degrees so the water from walls gets out into box and It is not good. Our normal dew point at home is about 12-14. New printer will get thin layer of extruded polystyrene into box to avoid this. Alsi it will save power to heating. Anyway I left ABS spools inside.

  • The only time I've ever printed ABS is when I bought a roll inadvertently because the box was labeled PLA, then I got home and the spool was labeled as ABS.
    I use PLA for most of my prototyping work, and PETG for any and all final products.

  • I mainly print with abs and i dont know why everyone was suggesting no fan. Without active cooling my parts would warp like crazy. Heated chamber is a must of course. I also find 85C bed optimal for me, if I go higher, warp increases. I would switch to PETG totally, if it was post-process friendly. I can sand my abs parts to make them look factory like. No other plastic can offer this so far.

  • Hey I've been thinking of building an inclosure for my printer for multiple reasons; much higher ambient temps, fumes/gases from certain materials, to silence it all! All cuz it's in my bedroom which is a basement of a 4 story house so when the main living areas are approx 72° F my room is approx 64-66°F. I'm wanting to build it most likely out of a composite Aluminum (aluminum sheets with some sort of filler in between for insulation & sound proofing but I'm also wanting to add a high air volume extraction set of 3 fans side by side @ the top ideally that goes through a layer of activated carbon & then a HEPA filter! Reason for that is so that I'd be able to print higher temp filaments with extraction fans & board cooling fans off but then I'd also be able to still print with the lower temp filaments by simply running the extraction fans along with all others instead of leaving doors open or anything like that. Q for you is do you know of anywhere that I could find DIY PLANS for building an extractor unit & is there anywhere I can find measurements that I'll need like example: 1st a site with a list of approx print head & bed & maybe even ambient temps needed for each type of filament! Then some sort of calculator to input dimension of inside enclosure volume & how much air volume I'd need to move per second to accommodate the things I'm doing. Also as for how well enclosures will hold heat (R value) any recommendations to be most efficient holding in heat as well as allowing it to escape when needed, this is partially my reasoning for picking composite Aluminum to build it out of or do you have better recommendations as far as material to build with? I also want to keep any hazard of fire out of the question cuz I've seen some build out of cardboard & I can just vision flames, especially overnight prints! Thanks Tom C

  • I'm printing with abs, with no enclosure but decent results! 230c hot end temp and 80 hot bed.. fairly standard. While the parts im printing are fairly small i've notice the abs i print with warps less in a colder environment (60-70F room temp). I've yet to see layer adhesion issues.

  • I've printing with ABS ONLY (3d printing for 4 years now). I literally printed only about 5 parts in PLA ever!
    I don't like the brittleness of PLA. ABS is stronger and can be glued with acetone and i only had 2(!) cloggs ever (genuine e3d v6)
    I'm only printing functional parts though, like brackets, casings which have to have a certain strength.
    My open frame (self designed) printer is super reliable and performs great with ABS, and only sometimes i use a foldable chamber around it when printing bigger parts.
    ABS is the big winner for me!
    Sure, there are likely more advance materials, but ABS is also very cheap!! 🙂

  • Tom what ambient temp is too low for general (non ABS) printing with PETG, PLA, etc? My first printer is on its way from Prusa and it will live in my basement where the ambient temp this time of year is around 16-17 C.

  • Noob mistake for me, I purchased an ABS filament from a popular filament maker because it was cheaper than a no name brand PLA then I found out the hard way that not only I needed a heated bed, but also an enclosure… good thing is NOW I have a bunch of scrap ABS blocks for adhesion material for future use LMAO

  • Was going to build an enclosure, but it sounds like I can just print outdoors in an Australian summer! Or on a warmer winter day!

  • Hi. I made an enclosure based on your advice for my Anycubic i3 Mega in order to print ABS filament. So far this has worked better than not having an enclosure, but I noticed some of the plastic piece like the filament feeder has warped with the internal heat. Should I add vents to the enclosure and what temperature should I limit the internal heat to be. Thanks.

  • At my job, I primarily run ABS as we have Afinia (UP!) printers. As you may know, the proprietary ABS made for these printers has notably higher extrusion temperature of 270 degrees Celsius. They also have direct extruders equipped with motor fans that are intended to double as part cooling fans; there is a toggle that allows for the user to re-direct the air away from the part, so that's typically what I've opted to do. The H800 features an enclosure. It can print larger parts remarkably well IF the bed temperature is changed to 100 degrees Celsius (which I believe is the highest it will go; I could be remembering that inaccurately, however and that may just be how hot I was willing to set it), the bed is amazingly (read: manually) leveled, the print surface is BuildTak, and a glue stick has been applied. There aren't really too many hoops to jump through, but it was a bit of a saga to hone things to a comfortable place. The H480 is much smaller and has a completely open build chamber. Using the factory settings for ABS (270 degrees Celsius on the hot-end, 90 degrees Celsius on the bed, whatever print speed the "fine" setting implies), printing onto perfboard, and an application of glue from the trusty glue stick, I am able to get surprisingly nice results. These nice results are highly dependent on the model being printed. It's like usual with ABS – small things work well when the x-axis and y-axis size is relatively similar and the print isn't too tall. Otherwise, there's definitely some layer adhesion trouble and guaranteed warping, even with a raft (the rafts always stick fine; the parts tend to warp off of the rafts). I probably should have mentioned that with these printers, rafts are an absolute must. Even with glue on BuildTak, the filament refuses to even begin to adhere to the surface. I also failed to mention infill. It's an unfortunate requisite because the UP software doesn't seem to have a surface density adjuster for the side walls of the print; only the top and bottom can be adjusted. I typically set my infill at 65% so that the part can't be crushed in my hand but I am still using slightly less material.

    Regardless, the point of all of this extraneous information is to let you know that in my experience with my machines (which are ABS-centric, to say the least), ABS can be printed and printed well on a printer without an enclosure. It's unquestionably more effective to print with an enclosure if aesthetically pleasing and successful prints are the desired outcome. I intend to build an enclosure for the H480 for the express purpose of printing ABS. All of that being said, I've liked working with PLA much more. It just sort of works, which is not really the case with ABS. I have been doing a lot of research as of late to acquire a better working understanding of 3D printing beyond the machines that I currently have access to, and that's allowed me to get some seriously nice results using ABS on my printers. I haven't printed PLA recently enough to apply my newfound knowledge to the process, but entirely in spite of that, my old prints with PLA are still just as nice as my new ABS ones. I can't even imagine how good they will be! Even with machines intended for ABS printing and using their exceptional filament, I see no purpose in using ABS over other filaments that offer better looking and/or more structurally sound prints.

  • I actually much prefer ABS to copolyesters, as the latter are to me unreliable and brittle.
    But if it comes to having only printer without fully enclosed chamber, than High Temperature PLA is a better option.

  • I have tried PETG and it does not look so good, lots of boogers. ABS warps, etc. Nylon does ok, provided it is cooked prior to printing (to remove moisture) and sticks to the bed.

  • I'm just p***ed off that there wasn't more vids like this when I was new to 3D printing and had just bought my Prusa MK2. I absolutely hate ABS. PETG is so superior, and almost as easy to work with as PLA. It says a lot that Prusa now print the MK3 with PETG. I wasted money on useless ABS filaments because I didn't know any better at the time and there was loads of idiots recommending ABS.

  • I use ABS and PLA. Have tried PETG but do not like it. Always Always Always use ABS in a chamber if you want it to be consistent and it will work fine. I keep the part cooling fan at 30% unless bridging which is 100%.

  • This video is so philosophical, and I've probably watched it more than any of your other videos. I'm not sure if I will ever understand the strength benefit from the 20% fan. What a brain teaser. It is difficult to put words to the nuances and conclusions we make when developing work-arounds in 3d printing, but you do an excellent job. Thanks.

  • If anyone out there has successfully printed a large area ( 8in x 8in, or similar 200mm x 200mm ) box that is 4-5in tall with ABS without lifting off the bed ….. I would love to know the settings!

    I have a Creality-CR10S, with heated glass bed, with Repetier (Slic3r) or Simplyify3D. Every ABS print attempt with or without:
    From 60°-115° bed temperature
    From 240°-260° hot end temperature
    With fan, without fan
    With fan first 10 layers, then off, or then 100%

    ARGH!!! After a few layers, one or more corners lift. I’ve tried different filaments, painters tape, Elmer’s stick glue, enclosed, not enclosed.

  • If I need to bond a part to my existing abs gold Prospecting Equipment, made from thermoformed ABS.
    I'm sure ABS parts would bond well, what about the other filaments??

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