Best ABS Print Settings for Your 3D Printer

by Mike Brooks | Last Updated: April 29, 2022

If you’re looking to get the best results from your ABS 3D printing, it’s important to understand and adjust your printer’s print settings accordingly.

ABS Print Settings

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In this article, we’ll go over the best ABS print settings for your 3D printer so that you can achieve high print quality every time.

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, so be sure to experiment with different settings to find what works best for your particular printer and project.

What is ABS Print?

ABS, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is a thermoplastic polymer often used in 3D printing. It is a strong and durable heat-resistant filament, making it a popular choice for many different applications.

It is available in various colors and comes in handy with either a FFF or FDM 3D printer. Its toughness and resistance make one print durable parts.

Best ABS Print Settings to Use for Your 3D Printer

If you’re looking to get the best ABS prints possible, there are a few key settings you’ll need to adjust on your 3D printer. These include the extruder temperature, bed temperature, printing speed, and cooling fan settings.

Temperature

Temperature is one of the most important settings. The ideal temperature will vary depending on the type of printer and the brand of filament. However, a good starting point is around 230 degrees Celsius.

If the temperature is too low, the ABS will not flow properly, and the parts will not adhere to the build plate. If the temperature is too high, the ABS will pour too much and cause warping and other issues.

Build Plate Temperature

Another important setting is the build plate temperature. For ABS printing, it is best to use a heated build plate. It helps to prevent the warping and curling of the parts.

The ideal build plate temperature will vary depending on the printer and filament. A good starting point is around 100 degrees Celsius.

Type of the Build Plate

It is also important to use the correct type of build plate surface when printing with ABS. ABS does not adhere well to glass or bare metal surfaces.

Instead, it is best to use a build plate coated with a material such as BuildTak or PET tape (check at Amazon). These surfaces provide good adhesion for ABS while still allowing easy removal of the parts after printing.

BuildTak - BT12X12-3PK 3D Printing Build Surface, 12

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What Is a Good Print Speed for ABS?

The ideal print speed for printing with ABS will again vary depending on the printer and filament being used. However, a good starting point is around 40-60 mm/s.

If the print speed is too slow, the parts will not adhere to the build plate properly. If the print speed is too fast, the levels above 70mm/s the parts may warp, decreasing the quality of your print.

Is a Cooling Fan Mandatory for One to Use on the 3D Print?

No, a cooling fan is not mandatory for outstanding 3D printing. One can use a low cooling fan setting or even put it off, which leads to improving the quality of the surface and enhancing its strength.

However, the ABS 3D print section can have large bridges or short time per layer. Therefore, it becomes necessary to turn on a fan by putting scripts in the slicer to change the settings on the particular layers.

ABS tends to warp and curl when it cools from its extrusion temperature. A cooling fan helps prevent these issues by cooling the parts more evenly.

Best Bed Temperature for ABS

The ideal heated bed temperature for printing with ABS will vary depending on the printer and filament. However, a good starting point is around 100 degrees Celsius.

A temperature-controlled bed is essential for fine details.

Print Bed Preparation in ABS 3D Prints

When printing with ABS, one must prepare the print bed adequately.

It includes cleaning the print bed, applying adhesive such as ABS slurry or glue sticks, and heating the bed to the correct temperature, which one can achieve if you take care of interference of the ambient temperature.

Failure to properly prepare the print bed can result in poor adhesion and warping.

There are a few different types of print beds. The most common type of print surface is the heated bed. Heated beds help to prevent warping and improve adhesion.

Another type of print bed is the non-heated bed. Non-heated beds are typically glass or metal beds and do not require a heated bed.

Finally, there are 3D printer builds that do not have a bed. These printers typically use an enclosed build chamber to help prevent warping.

What Temperature Should I Print ABS At?

The ideal temperature for printing with ABS will vary depending on the printer and filament you are using. However, a good starting point is around 230 degrees Celsius.

If the temperature is too low, the ABS will not flow properly, and the parts will not adhere to the build plate. If the temperature is too high, the ABS will pour too much and cause warping and other issues.

Popular Brands of ABS Filaments and Their Bed Temperature

Some popular brands of ABS filament include:

Hatchbox

It has a bed temperature of 85-110 degrees Celsius and a printing temperature that ranges from 210-240 degrees Celsius.

HATCHBOX ABS 3D Printer Filament, Dimensional Accuracy +/- 0.03 mm, 1 kg Spool, 1.75 mm, Black

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Overture

It has a bed temperature of 70-90 degrees Celsius and a printing temperature that ranges from 210-250 degrees Celsius.

OVERTURE ABS Filament 1.75mm, ABS 1kg Spool (2.2lbs),3D Printer Filament,Dimensional Accuracy +/- 0.03mm, Fit Most FDM Printer(White 1-Pack)

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NovaMaker

It has a bed temperature of 80-110 degrees Celsius and a printing temperature that ranges from 215-245 degrees Celsius. It is of significant disadvantage to using a lower quality filament.

NovaMaker ABS Filament 1.75mm, Blue ABS 3D Printer Filament, 1kg Spool(2.2lbs), Dimensional Accuracy +/- 0.03mm, Fit FDM 3D Printer and 3D Pen

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What Happens if You Print ABS Too Hot?

If the temperature is too high, the ABS will flow too much and cause warping and other issues such as uneven cooling and poor layer adhesion.

It can also lead to a decrease in the dimensional accuracy of the parts. The enclosed print chamber is an excellent feature in several 3D printers.

What Happens If You Print ABS Too Cold?

If the temperature is too low, the ABS will not flow properly, and the parts will not adhere to the build plate. The pieces may also be brittle and break easily.

What is a Good Layer Height for ABS?

The ideal layer height for printing with ABS will vary depending on the printer and filament. However, a good starting point is around 0.2-0.3 mm.

If the layer height is too low, the parts will take longer to print and may be more challenging to remove from the build plate.

If the layer height is too high, the parts may not adhere to the build plate properly and could warp or break.

What Is a Good Infill Percentage for ABS?

The ideal infill percentage for printing with ABS will vary depending on the application. However, a good starting point is around 20-40%. If the infill percentage is too low, the parts will not be strong enough.

If the infill percentage is too high, the pieces will take longer to print and use more filament than necessary.

What Is a Good Cooling Fan Setting for ABS?

The ideal cooling fan setting for printing with ABS will vary depending on the printer and filament. However, a good starting point is around 50-60%.

If the cooling fan is set too low, the parts will not cool evenly and could warp. If the cooling fan is set too high, the components may not correctly adhere to the build plate and break.

How Do I Stop ABS from Warping?

There are a few things you can do to stop ABS from warping. First, make sure you use the correct printing temperature and bed temperature.

Second, use a brim or raft to increase the surface area of the part touching the build plate.

Third, use an enclosure to keep the temperature consistent. Fourth, use a fan to cool the parts evenly. Finally, make sure the layer height is not too high.

ABS Retraction Settings

The ideal retraction settings for printing with ABS will vary depending on the printer and filament one is using.

Nonetheless, a good starting point is around 4-7 mm at a retraction speed of 30-45 mm/s. Depending on the printer, you may also need to increase the retraction distance when printing with ABS.

If the retraction settings are too high, the parts will not adhere to the build plate properly and could warp or break.

If the retraction settings are too low, the parts will take longer to print and use more filament than necessary.

ABS Print Settings on Ender 3

The Ender 3 is an excellent printer for printing ABS. It has the following features:

Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Fully Open Source with Resume Printing Function DIY 3D Printers Printing Size 220x220x250mm

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What Are Advantages of 3D Printing ABS?

There are a few advantages of 3D printing with ABS:

Some things you can print with 3D ABS are:

How Do You Smooth ABS 3D Prints?

There are a few ways you can smooth ABS 3D prints. Let’s see:

Acetone Vapor Smoothing

This method involves using a container of acetone and a heat source to vaporize the acetone. The vapors will then condense on the surface of the 3D printed part and smooth it out.

Sanding

This method involves using progressively finer grit sandpaper to sand down the surface of the 3D-printed part. It gives a tremendous shiny bottom layer.

Use of a Chemical Bath

This method involves using a chemical such as Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) to smooth the surface of the 3D printed part.

Procedure for Changing Filaments

When switching to a different filament altogether, it is crucial to follow the proper procedure to avoid damaging your printer. The following are simple steps you can follow

  1. The first is to heat the 3D printer to the printing temperature for the new filament.
  2. Use tweezers or another tool to grab the end of the old filament and carefully pull it out of the extruder. It is advisable to remove the filament when it is soft and not when it has melted so that there will be no depositing melted material on the extruder.
  3. Once the old filament is out, cut off the end of the new filament and insert it into the extruder. Ensure that the extruder is not pouring so much material.
  4. Finally, use the printer’s control panel to extrude the new filament until it comes out of the nozzle in the desired color. You could do a test to ensure the lighter material doesn’t mix with the dark fabric.

Things to Check When Your ABS Prints Are Not Working

If your prints are not coming out the way you want them to, there are a few things you can check.

If all of these things are in order and your prints are still not coming out the way you want them to, there may be an issue with your 3D printer. Try contacting the manufacturer or a certified technician for help troubleshooting the problem.

Conclusion

ABS is a versatile material that one can use for various applications. Printing with ABS can be tricky. However, by following the tips above, you should be able to get great results.

ABS is an excellent material for printing vital and accurate parts. With the correct settings, you can produce high-quality pieces that will last for years.

Michael Brooks is the founder of M3DZone.com. He sees a very bright future for 3D printing that's why his mission is to try and make this easy for everyone. Discover your hidden talent and creativity. You can follow here: Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.