What is ABS Plastic?
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a low cost engineering plastic that is easy to machine and fabricate. ABS is a common material used in 3D printers and an ideal material for structural applications when impact resistance, strength, and stiffness are required. It is widely used for machining pre-production prototypes since it has superior dimensional stability and can be sanded, painted and glued together to make quality prototypes.
Even though ABS plastics are used largely for mechanical purposes, they also have good electrical properties that are fairly constant over a wide range of frequencies. These properties are little affected by temperature and atmospheric humidity in the acceptable operating range of temperatures.
Common ABS machining techniques including injection molding, turning, drilling, milling, sawing, die-cutting and shearing. ABS can be cut with standard shop tools and line bent with standard heat strips. ABS can be chemically affixed to itself and other similar plastics.
ABS can be used to make light, rigid, molded products such as piping, musical instruments, golf club heads, automotive body parts, wheel covers, enclosures, protective head gear, reusable paintballs, and toys including LEGO bricks.
- Excellent impact resistance
- Good machinability
- Excellent aesthetic qualities
- Can be painted and glued
- Good strength and stiffness
- Relatively low cost
- Made out of oil, so not as environmentally friendly as PLA
- Deforms when not being 3D printed on a heated surface
- Higher melting point
- Hot plastic fumes when printing
- Not suitable for using with food
Not sure where to begin? Contact the experts at Lime Design to find out if ABS Plastic is the right choice for your 3D prints!
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