ABS the not so environmentally friendly plastic

ABS- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

ABS-175-Natural-4vOil and earth

How it’s made

It is made from petrochemical compounds that undergo chemical reactions in order to form the plastic polymer. The main compounds used to make ABS are acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene.  But, this all just a really complex way of saying that it is made from oil.


It is not biodegradable and also not a renewable resource.

Which means some of the ABS you print is going to end up here.

Do not get me wrong there are times to use ABS. But, if PLA will do just as well for a project. It is more environmentally beneficial to go with PLA.

Material Properties:

Type of 3D printing which utilizes material: FDM (Fused deposition Modeling)

Most printers utilize 1.7mm filament, some use 3mm filament

Strength: ABS is more flexible than PLA and will not degrade in wet conditions.

Post Processing: Models printed in ABS can be smoothed by the use of acetone. More on this in a later post.

Other Properties: Due to a gel like consistency when ABS is printed it is unable to achieve as high of a resolution as PLA.

Suggested Printing Temperature:  225 °C.

Depending on how the material was manufactured and what dyes have been added the melting temperature may vary. Also, the accuracy at which temperature is controlled is dependent on the printer.

Biodegradable: No

Renewable Resource: No

Starting material= oil

Cost: $31 to $48 a kg

Favorite Source:  Octave for 1.7mm filament

Natural Color: The natural color is a off white hue


Other Colors: Comes in a variety of colors as shown below, varies by supplier. ABS is usually opaque and even comes in glow in the dark varieties.

ABS-175-Green-4v ABS-175-Grey-4v ABS-175-Orange-4v ABS-175-Pink-4v ABS-175-Purple-4v ABS-175-Red-4v ABS-175-White-4v ABS-175-Yellow-4v ABS-175-Black-4v ABS-175-Blue-4v ABS-175-Brown-4v ABS-175-Gold-4vimages


Heart Gears printed in pink ABS.


Posted on May 27, 2013, in 3D Printing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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