How to print with Ultimaker ABS

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a frequently used 3D printing material. It has good mechanical properties and can be used for a wide range of applications. Ultimaker ABS shows exceptionally low warping and consistent layer bonding, making it more reliable and easier to print with than other regular ABS filaments. This guide will explain all you need to know to print with Ultimaker ABS filament.

Ultimaker ABS can be printed as a single material on all Ultimaker 3D printers that are equipped with a heated build plate. On the Ultimaker 3 it can also be printed in combination with another color of ABS, or experimentally with PVA or TPU 95A.

Always use the latest version of Cura and make sure that your 3D printer is updated with the latest firmware version to include the correct material profile for Ultimaker ABS.

Note: The information provided here only applies to Ultimaker ABS. We cannot guarantee similar quality when using third-party filaments.

Recommended Settings

Temperatures

ABS can be printed with a build plate temperature of 80 °C. Check the table below to find the temperatures per nozzle diameter for the best print results:

ABS settings

Note: On the Ultimaker 3 the nozzle and build plate temperature on the first layer may be different due to the 'Print Temperature Initial Layer' and 'Build Plate Temperature Initial Layer' settings in Cura.

The settings listed in the table are used for the Ultimaker ABS print profiles in Cura for the Ultimaker 3D printers. For best results, it is crucial to select the right printer, nozzle diameter and material in Cura. Also, make sure to select the correct material on your Ultimaker 3D printer to automatically use the corresponding temperatures.

Cooling

ABS requires some cooling while printing. However, too much cooling can cause problems with layer bonding. ABS tends to contract when cooling down too fast, leading to possible delamination. The default print cooling fan speed in Cura for Ultimaker ABS is therefore set between 5 - 50%, depending on the printer and nozzle diameter.

Adhesion

Ultimaker ABS has been optimized to minimize warping, which means that the material usually adheres well to the glass plate. However, we recommend following the instructions below for optimal adhesion and glass plate protection.

Please note that it may be easier to remove the 3D prints from the build plate if it is still slightly warm at approximately 40ºC.

Accessories

When printing with Ultimaker ABS you must apply a thin layer of glue (included in the accessory box of your 3D printer) to the glass plate. Not using the glue results in a high risk of chipping the glass plate when removing the print.

You can also use adhesion sheets from the Advanced 3D Printing Kit (for the Ultimaker 2+ or Ultimaker 3) as an alternative adhesion method.

Cura build plate adhesion

All default profiles for Ultimaker ABS in Cura use a brim as a build plate adhesion method. A brim is made of a few extra printed lines around the 3D print on the initial layer to ensure better adhesion and to avoid warping.

For more tips on how to improve the bed adhesion, we recommend that you take a look at our build plate adhesion guide.

Printing conditions

Although Ultimaker ABS prints reliably, the material is prone to delamination when printing large or thin-walled objects. Therefore it is highly recommended to use the front enclosure included in the Advanced 3D Printing Kit (for the Ultimaker 2+ or Ultimaker 3) for these prints. The front enclosure will help avoid cracks in your 3D prints and will provide a controlled print environment for more consistent and reliable results.

Health and safety

Ultimaker ABS is safe to print when using the recommended temperature settings listed above. To ensure a comfortable and healthy environment, we recommend 3D printing in a well-ventilated area.

For more information, download the safety data sheet for Ultimaker ABS.

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