Printing with ABS

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Lioric
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Printing with ABS

Post by Lioric »

The printer specifications shows ABS as a supported printing material, but somehow it seems that it is not really "recommended" to use it (neither by the printer maker or here on the forums)

Most if not all posts (I know its a new community) only mention PLA, so are there any guys that have used ABS with the Felix, how was the results?

The main issue seems to be the heated bed, from posts here it seems that more heat is needed (or a heated chamber). From other posts on the web (for other printers), it shows good results all the way from 60C to 125C, so there is not a definitive value

HLA
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Post by HLA »

I am tempted to perform some tests with ABS on the glass bed. However, i am somewhat afraid that I might damage some extruder parts that were printed with PLA given the higher temperature required for extruding ABS...

Lioric
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Post by Lioric »

My printer has not yet arrived (or shipped) but I'm planning on using ABS (I need higher temperature tolerances as most of the parts will be for automotive uses).

The extruder seems to be up to the task (at least from the specs) but the heated bed might not.

I'm wondering if this might do it:

http://store.qu-bd.com/product.php?id_product=30

It seems that the main problem is ABS not sticking to the bed and warping when cooling, so that bed, and a mix of acetone with ABS melted (ABS glue) applied to the build platform (and print with no raft) should do it

Others have reported great results with just Kapton tape and the ABS acetone mix:

http://www.instructables.com/id/100-War ... -Printing/

HLA
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Post by HLA »

There are some thoughts on using the ABS juice, but it needs to be tested given the low temp of the bed - see recent post here http://www.felixprinters.com/forum/view ... p?f=9&t=28. Furthermore, you might need some modifications to the extruder (e.g. the plastic parts of the extruder printed from ABS), since the PLA part that holds the hot-end could potentially deform under high temperature. However, I could be wrong since I haven't tried it myself ;)

Even if modifications were required, these wouldn't have to be substantial in my opinion.

Please let us know if it works out ;)

HLA

picka
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Post by picka »

Has anyone had luck with ABS yet? I want to start experimenting with ABS but it would be really helpful to know what works and what doesn't (i.e. ABS juice, sugar water, beer, etc...)

danielkschneider
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Post by danielkschneider »

I only tried to extrude ABS filament since I did find a roll in the lot I bought. That works without problems using a typical ABS temperature like 245 and the first 2 layers printed ok. The problem is having it stick enough to the platform.

[UPDATE]: Partly tested:
* Printing it warmer (270 degrees) or colder (235 degrees). Warmer will increase warping though. 245 remains best for the one I have.
* Fan off (ok)
* Printing a raft first. If it is "fat" enough it may stick. - No it does not, but it could be taped down, though putting the printer on hold for taping may lead to problems later.
* Putting another print bed on top of the normal platform (e.g. an acyrlic one from an old 3D printer) and adjust z-home. In that case, I don't think one should heat the platform at all in this case. This seems to be the BEST "light-weight" solution. I'll post the solution including SFACT settings once I managed to print out a full model.

There is more:
* Using tape that is used to make carpets stick (but then you mess up your nice platform)
* Replace the platform, by a heated platform that is made for ABS (I wouldn't know how to do this).

If any of this works, you could print smaller objects (no more than 5cm X 5 cm base) like people do on first generation filament printers (rapman, makerbot, etc.)

For larger models, a heated print bed that heats more (120 ?) would be needed. But then, upper layers still would warp, that's ABS ....

Disclaimer: I am not an expert, but also do own a rapman and a fabbster that both print ABS

danielkschneider
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Post by danielkschneider »

picka wrote:Has anyone had luck with ABS yet? I want to start experimenting with ABS but it would be really helpful to know what works and what doesn't (i.e. ABS juice, sugar water, beer, etc...)
My first attempts (I use my wiki, since there is a need for updating):
http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Felix_3D ... g_with_ABS

Executive summary
* Print at 245
* Use a raft
* Print on top of an acrylic plate
* Put the fan off (and again, there is some "fan on" in the gcode or the firmware ...)

I got a light blue ABS roll from felixprinter. No idea what specification it would have, but it seems to be pretty much "standard" whatever that means with respect to all sorts of variants that do exist. Anyhow, I didn't even know that I had ABS before I had to figure out why it wouldn't extrude at 210 degrees :D

I managed to print a somewhat warped DUPLO piece so far. Actually my main trouble right now is not having the raft stick (that works quite ok with an acrylic plate), but understanding how SFACT handles the first layer (it's too far away from the raft interface) and whether I should change Dimension parameters for ABS.....

[UPDATE]: Small objects print fine (though some slicer tuning is still needed, see the wiki article
Image
Last edited by danielkschneider on Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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gfeliksdal
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Post by gfeliksdal »

Great to see progress on ABS printing while working around having a not hot-enough heated bed.

Unfortunately the heated bed has difficulties to get hot-enough due to its size in combination with the current electronics setup. I've tried several things over the last months to still get the bed hot enough more efficient heating method. (The constraints of the tests were to not alter the current electronics and powersupply.)
  • - Using a acrylic plate 3mm
    When the acrylic plate was unheated, the ABS still curled off.
    Then I tried to heat the acrylic plate, even at 35 degC the ABS sticks so well, it is almost impossible to remove withouth damaging the part.
  • - Ordered a custom made kapton foil heater.
    The heating is extremely even along the plate, just a temp deviation of 0.1 degC over the whole surface
    Problem is that the resistance cannot be low enough. Required is approx 1 Ohm, but that would use too much W/m2 on this heater. So the temp became max 40 DegC. If there is a way to lower the resistance this heater is the way to go.
  • - Ordered a custom made silicone rubber heater
    This is similar to the kapton foil heater, but is a lot heavier. It was able to become 105 degC. Not as hot as I hoped but it was coming close.
  • - Ordered a custom made mica heater, it was sandwiched beween two thin stainless steel plates
    This became actually quite hot, 180 degrees at some spots, but also 50 degrees on a different spot. So heat distribution was far from optimal...
Unfortunately none really worked as well as PLA. So, it seems that the following tested solutions are the best bet for ABS printing:
  • Acryl plate: by danielkschneider
To still ensure printing with a heated bed for ABS. I'm temped to make a smaller bed, which can be an add-on and which can reach at least 120 degC so ABS printing can be made easier but with the cost of a smaller print-space. What are your thoughts about this?

@danielkschneider: thanks for your wiki, there are some very useful tips.

danielkschneider
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Post by danielkschneider »

gfeliksdal wrote: To still ensure printing with a heated bed for ABS. I'm temped to make a smaller bed, which can be an add-on and which can reach at least 120 degC so ABS printing can be made easier but with the cost of a smaller print-space. What are your thoughts about this?
I'd like that solution, in particular if adding and removing the add-on is quick and easy. That may turn out to be a challenge for you :)

A smaller print area for ABS is not a problem for me, since printing larger objects with ABS remains a challenge, even with a well heated print bed. An model can warp in any location upwards. Exceptions are large and flat objects. For these, it would be nice to have a large print area. In any case, I prefer PLA since I print in my office and ABS stinks a lot and its fumes may not be healthy either.

Btw. "rubber PLA" would have priority for me. I imagine fun things to print with that....

Lioric
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Post by Lioric »

To still ensure printing with a heated bed for ABS. I'm temped to make a smaller bed, which can be an add-on and which can reach at least 120 degC so ABS printing can be made easier but with the cost of a smaller print-space. What are your thoughts about this
Absolutely No way!!!! One of the best features of the Felix printer is its envelope size (that is one of the main reasons I purchased it)

I just don't get the trend to have tiny envelope sizes (and the trend to marketing 3d printers as household machines to fix kitchen knobs)

I see 3D printers as prototyping machines (and hopefully some day, able to print consumer ready objects) and for that printing size IS important.

As I posted on another thread, have you tested by insulating below the bed, to avoid the downward radiated heat to be wasted. I think that alone will increase temps a few good degrees.

@gfeliksdal: have you defined what the limiting factor in the electronics setup is? the PSU with not enough juice or the RAMPS module current sourcing/sinking limits?

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