ABS is a very strong and versatile material with great thermal resistance. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. ABS is a thermoplastic polymer; that means that just like PLA, it can be melted and crystallized multiple times without degrading too much. ABS, however, melts at a higher temperature than PLA. Higher melting temperature gives ABS great thermal resistance; your prints won’t show signs of deformation up to 98 °C.
ABS includes high wear-resistance synthetic rubber, which makes it very strong and impact resistant. And last but not least, it’s soluble in acetone! This makes it really easy to not only connect multiple parts together, but also it allows you to smooth prints with acetone vapors. You still have to be careful when handling acetone, but it’s not anywhere near as dangerous as PLA solvents, for example.
If you need to use your print outside, or just need your print to be stronger, give ABS a shot. After all, it’s what LEGO is made of.
Products made of ABS boast high durability and a capacity to withstand high temperatures, but 3D printer enthusiasts should be mindful of the filament’s high printing temperature, tendency to warp during cooling, and intense fumes. Be sure to print with a heating bed, and in a well-ventilated space.
WHEN SHOULD I USE ABS ?
ABS is tough – able to withstand high stress and temperature. It’s also moderately flexible. Together these properties make ABS a good general-purpose 3D printer filament, but where it really shines is with items that are frequently handled, dropped, or heated. Examples include phone cases, high-wear toys, tool handles, automotive trim components, and electrical enclosures.