FDM / FFF 3D Printing:
ABS is one of the most popular and versatile plastics. From Lego stones to the automotive parts, this material has an extreme broad range of applications. ABS has a high mechanic strength and good thermal stability. Consequently, ABS is also a very popular 3D printing material for creating rough/draft prototypes of mechanical, structural parts, or cases.
FDM/FFF 3D Printing
200 x 200 x 200 mm
3 – 5 business days
± 0.5% with a lower limit of 0.5 mm
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Extruded ABS is a very strong and heat resistant material. From the physical properties, FDM/FFF printed ABS the closest you can get to injection molded ABS in 3D printing. However, due to the printing technology, the accuracy, surface quality and batch-top-batch consistency is below other additive manufacturing technologies like Laser Sintering or Stereolithography.
Low accuracy structural or mechanical parts
For parts where the lower accuracy is less important than the mechanic strength, ABS is a great choice. The parts are very strong and outperform most other 3D printing technologies. The best results are achieved for models which are rather compact with no or limited undercuts.
- Individual orders
- Approx. EUR 0.55 / cm³ material volume (excl. 19% VAT. or EUR 0.65 incl. 19% VAT).
- Set-up fee of EUR 5 (excl. 19% VAT or 5.95 incl. 19% VAT) per shell.
- Small batch series are individually calculated based on material consumption and printing time.
- Machine running time: FDM / FFF 3D printing is a very slow process. Even with moderate sizes, printing time can be of one day and more. Since the method is more error-prone compared to other technologies, the probability of errors occurring during very long print times increases and the process has to be repeated.
- Post processing: FFF / FDM 3D printing requires support structures. Depending on the geometry, removal of support material can be very simple or hard (especially for undercuts).
Look & Feel
- The printed layers are visible
- The models are not printed solid, but with a stabilizing structure inside (20% infill). Therefore the parts are very light
- Support structures are necessary for most parts. In the ares where these structures were applied, the surface is dull and rougher. In unreachable places the support structures can only partially be removed.
- ABS is somewhat flexible with thin structures and can also be used for moving parts (snap closures, etc.).
- Unless desired, cavities are not printed solidly but with approximately 20% stabilization structure (infill).
- FDM / FFF prints are anisotropic, that is, the mechanical load-ability is direction-dependent (along the layers the components break faster than perpendicular to the pressure layers). We can adapt the printing orientation to your requirements.
Modulus of Elasticity
Minimum Wall Thickness
The minimum wall thickness is 1 mm. The longer a structure becomes, the stronger it should be designed.
Cavities can be printed if no support structure is required inside, otherwise a stabilizing structure (‘infill’) will be printed inside the cavity.
If your file contains two separate shells, leave at least 1 mm clearance gap between them. Depending upon the design, support material is printed between the objects, which can not be removed if the distances are too small.
The minimal detail size should not be smaller than 1 mm.
You can print interlaced objects with the FDM / FFF 3D print. It also applies 1 mm Distance to avoid a fusion of the objects.
The maximum size of an object cannot exceed 200 x 200 x 200 mm.
- Removal of support structure
- Epoxy resin coating (for surface smoothing)
- Grinding / polishing
The FDM / FFF process works by melting a string of plastic and applying it layer-by-layer onto a build platform. Since the plastic is fully melted, with sufficient thickness the 3D printed pieces have similar mechanical characteristics as those from injection molding. Due to the relatively slow printing process the inside of solid models are usually filled with a stabilizing space-fame instead of being printed solid. That space-frame is defined by the Infill Rate – the percentage of the volume which is actually filled with solid material. This is typically set at 20% of the inside.
For details on the printing process, please visit our page FDM/FFF: Technology Overview.
Visualization of the FDM / FFF process; Source: youtube.com / The 3D Printing Professor