ABS Filament for 3D Printing – All You Need to Know

by John Doe

ABS filament is the most used home 3D printer filament after PLA. But what are the advantages and disadvantages? Let’s take a look. 

1. ABS Explained

If you have kids or drive a bike, you already know ABS. It is used in LEGO bricks and bicycle helmets alike. Today, you find it everywhere, as it’s probably the most popular plastic for injection molding. Pipe systems, musical instruments, joinery panels, home appliances, keyboard caps, toys, canoes, medical devices and even flat-screen TV’s and computer monitors.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is one of the most popular plastics. It became available in the 1940’s and was instantly marketed as an alternative to Bakelite. But it wasn’t until the 1950‘s it became the plastic material worldwide. Its variability of copolymers and ease of processing has led to this plastic becoming the most popular of the engineering polymers.

It is made from the monomers Acrylonitrile, 1,3-Butadiene and Styrene – the basis is petroleum. The chemical formula is (C8H8)x· (C4H6)y· (C3H3N)z). While its increased toughness over styrene made it suited for many applications, its limitations led to the introduction of a rubber (butadiene) as a third monomer and hence was born the range of materials popularly referred to as ABS plastics.

Today, it is invaluable for most industries as it’s easy to process and easily machined. Common machining techniques include turning, sawing, drilling, milling, die-cutting and shearing.

Uncolored, it has a yellowish tint and is usually delivered in small pellets for industrial use.

2. ABS Filament: What are the Benefits?

As a thermoplastic polymer, it can melt and cool without altering its chemical properties. That makes it an interesting 3D printer filament. 

  • Great mechanical properties: The material is known to be strong, tough and durable. It is also forgiving to scratches, offers good resistance to heat and everyday chemicals. It can endure heat, pressure and stress like no other home 3D printer material, making it a great choice for „wear and tear“ prints. You can try this out yourself: If you move a strain of ABS filament, will distort and bend before breaking. PLA breaks much more easily.
  • Great results: It’s quite forgiving, as long as you print with the right settings and a proper temperature management. You can even achieve overhangs of around 45 degrees. If the print succeeds, the results are very convincing.
  • Easy to process: Most makers like the material because you can process its surfaces with acetone, glue parts and even file off some material. Lastly, it can be easily painted with acrylic colors

3. ABS Filament: What are the Drawbacks?

As good as that sounds, there are some drawbacks when 3D printing with ABS filament.

  • Temperature issues: To 3D print ABS filament, you need a proper temperature management. It needs to cool slowly, otherwise, you get cracks or split layers in your prints. If your 3D printer has an enclosure, you might stand a better chance of a perfect print.
  • Common problems: Curling and warping are also an issue when printing with ABS filament. This is especially true for objects with a big standing surface.
  • Sunlight: It can also sustain damage by direct sunlight – so you might want to 3D print these outdoor parts in another material like PET.
  • Smelly printing: When printing, you will smell foul odors („There’s nothing like the stench of ABS filament in the morning“, as our maker friends say).

4. ABS Filament: Is it Sustainable?

Sorry to say: No, not at all. ABS filament is neither biodegradable nor made from renewable resources.

The 3D prints can be recycled (look for the recycling code “#7”), but in the process, you lose a lot of energy and produce waste materials. If you’re an environmentalist, think twice before using ABS filament.

ABS filament is not toxic when 3D printed. Only at very high temperatures (400 °C), the material decomposes into butadiene (which is carcinogenic to humans), acrylonitrile (possibly carcinogenic to humans), and styrene. Nothing you want to inhale at any circumstances.

Also, it is not food-safe. 

5. ABS Filament: What are the Alternatives?

PLA is a good alternative to ABS filament. It is made from a biopolymer (like corn or sugarcane), easy to print and comes in a huge variety of blends. You can have PLA added with metal powders (steel, copper, bronze); it can filled with wood, straw, coffee or even hemp.

PET and PETG – the material plastic bottles are made from – is also considered to be a valid alternative for ABS filament. You should have some experience in 3D printing, though, as PET is not an easy material to 3D print with. 

6. ABS Filament: What does it Cost?

The price for a 1-kg-spool ranges from $14 to $60, which is quite a variety. The cheaper filaments can be of inferior quality also.

It’s also available in pellets, which brings the price down significantly. A 1-kilo-bag of pellets costs around $10. To 3D print pellets, you need a special extruder, which can print pellets and also handle the high temperature of ABS filament.

7. ABS Filament: What are the Proper Settings?

It can be quite some task for a newcomer to find the right settings. No spool is alike, and the specifications may vary. Make sure you cover these bases:

  1. Close the printer: Before printing, make sure your 3D printer is either closed or that the ambient temperature of your environment isn’t too hot or too cold.
  2. Use a heated bed: Set the temperature to 110 degrees Celcius. Also, think about using Kapton (blue) on your glass build plate. If you still have problems with the first layer adhesion of your ABS filament, you should use a raft.
  3. Experiment with the temperature: Set the nozzle temperature to 230 degrees and work your way from there.
    If you see a lot of plastic strings between separate parts and the printer oozes material, lower the temperature by 5 degrees.
    If the filament doesn’t stick, the parts aren’t sturdy or the surfaces have a rough feel, increase the temperature by 5 degrees.

8. ABS Filament: What Colors are Available?

Good news: There’s plenty to choose from. ABS filament may not have as many varieties and flavors as PLA, but you still get most of the colors you want.

9. ABS Filament: How do I Store It?

Also, you need to store ABS filament in a dry place, as it absorbs water from the air, making it difficult or even impossible to print. You can even hear that in the printing process. If your ABS filament „bubbles“ and crackles, it’s too wet. Still, there are ways to save that 3D printing filament spool… more info here.

Best 3D Architecture / BIM Software in 2019 (Many are Free)

by John Doe

Looking for free 3D architecture software? Check out the best 3D architecture software and BIM software tools on the market right now. Many of them are free.

Until the middle of the nineties, architects had mainly drawn up their plans with a pencil and ink pencil. This has changed completely. The computer is an integral part of architecture offices, with 3D architecture software, the planning of projects became easier and faster. Drawing with computers allows faster changes. Masses and dimensions can automatically be generated from the plans and used in programs for calculation and billing. The possibilities of 3D architecture software spread from the visualization of a big building to a design study of a small chair.

What’s the technical difference between CAD and BIM?

Speaking plainly, a rectangle in AutoCAD could be anything from a fish tank to a helicopter-pad, the geometrical shape alone doesn’t tell you anything about its intended use.

BIM (Building Information Modeling) adds a layer of data to the drawings. When you draw a rectangle in the 3D architecture software ArchiCAD, you also specify whether it is a floor, a door, a window, etc. Because BIM software understands the intended use of each object, it will automatically assign industry standard measurements and materials.

The approach of BIM software makes it very easy to produce coherent architectural designs. Architectural software of this kind also enables to calculate the mass of a building, the number of materials needed in an instant, and its overall cost.

BIM software like Revit is designed not only for the architects, but also MEP, electrical, mechanical, and structural design teams. The shared program facilitates communication between the teams and ensures that conflicts between the different aspects of the project get noticed long before the first cut of the spade.

In our list, we feature mostly BIM software. However, we have also added CAD programs that are specifically geared towards architecture. We also compared the prices to each other and gave you a quick look at the possibility every 3D architecture software has.

Based on these different criteria, we presented the different 3D architecture software and BIM programs to help you ease the struggle of choosing one.

Source: All3DP

Best 3D Architecture / BIM Software in 2019 (Many are Free)

Skip table

SketchUpFree / Commercial $299Windows 7 and later, macOS
FreeCAD ArchFreeWindows, macOS, Linux
DynamoFreeWindows 7 and later
B-processorFreeWindows, macOS, Linux
TAD (The Architect's Desktop)FreeWindows Vista or later
AutoCAD ArchitectureFree for Students / $1,575Windows 7 and later
RevitFree Educational Licenses available / $2,310Windows 7 and later
ArchiCADFree version available / $300-$6800Windows 7and later, macOS 10.9 or later
Vectorworks$2945Windows 7 and later, macOS 10.10 and later
MicroStationFree Educational Licenses available / $5,627Windows 7 and later (64 bit)
AllplanEducational Licenses available / $9,500Windows 7 and later (64-bit)
RhinocerosEducational $230 / Commercial $800Windows 7 and later
BricsCAD BIMFree Educational Licenses available / $2,405Windows 7 and later (32 and 64 bit), macOS 10.9 or higher, Linux

For more information, visit JGAURORA.

Happy Father’s Day

by John Doe

Happy Father's Day to all dads in the world!

33 Best Sites for Free STL Files & 3D Printer Models in 2019

by John Doe

Check out our 2019 collection of the 33 best sites and search engines to download free STL files and 3D printer models in other 3D printable file formats.

Below, you'll find a selection of the best 3D printing websites, model repositories, marketplaces and websites that offer free 3D printer models to download. Each lets you browse a large choice of 3D printing designs to print at home.
Some of these sites also include storefronts for selling 3D printing designs. So if you’re a 3D modeler and fancy making some spare cash, these are perfect platforms for showcasing your work and selling it.
To rank the 3D model repositories, we use an equation accounting for the total number of 3D printable models on a site (determined by some sneaky Googly magic, and counting for 95%), plus a little tie-breaker juice from the site’s popularity (Alexa Traffic Rank, counting for 5%).
If we have missed your favorite site for free STL file downloads, please let us know in the comments, and we’ll add them in a future update.

Source: All3DP
Site Type Free/Paid #3D Printable Models
Thingiverse Repository Free ★★★★★
CGTrader Marketplace Free, Paid ★★★★
MyMiniFactory Marketplace Free, Paid ★★★★
Cults Marketplace Free, Paid ★★★★
Pinshape Marketplace Free, Paid ★★★★
YouMagine Repository Free ★★★
3DExport Marketplace Free, Paid ★★
XYZprinting 3D Gallery Marketplace Free, Paid ★★
Free3D Repository Free, Paid ★★
NIH 3D Print Exchange Repository Free ★★
3DShook Subscription Service Free, Paid ★★
GrabCAD Repository Free ★★
Threeding Marketplace Free, Paid ★★
Redpah Marketplace Free, Paid ★★
Zortrax Library Repository Free
Repables Repository Free
3Dagogo Marketplace Free, Paid
Libre3D Repository Free
NASA Repository Free
The Forge Repository Free
STLHive Shop Free, Paid
Instructables Repository Free n/a
3D Warehouse Repository Free n/a
Sketchfab Repository Free n/a
Dremel Lesson Plans Repository Free n/a
Polar Cloud Repository Free n/a
Fab365 Marketplace Free, Paid n/a
3DKitBash Marketplace Free, Paid n/a
Rinkak Marketplace Free, Paid n/a
Shapetizer Marketplace Free, Paid n/a
RascomRas Repository Free n/a
Yeggi Search Engine Free, Paid n/a
STLFinder Search Engine Free, Paid n/a

Dragon Boat Festival is Around the Corner

by John Doe

Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival, is a traditional and important celebration in China. Dragon Boat Festival 2019 falls on June 7 (Friday). China will have 3 days of holiday from Friday (June 7) to Sunday (June 9), and we will be back at work on Monday , June 10.

If you happen to be in China, do try sticky rice dumplings (Zongzi in Chinese) and watch dragon boat racing with your family.

Join us and celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.

Open Source Release of Magic

by John Doe

We are glad to announce the open source release of Magic. Just go to Download and take a look.
We look forward to hearing from you and working together to make Magic available to every developer and make it better for every customer. If you have any questions or feedback on this news, please do let us know.

Happy Mother’s Day

by John Doe

JGAURORA wishes all mothers around the world a Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for all that you do! You are loved. You are appreciated.


Meet JGAURORA in Moscow 2019/04/15

by John Doe

JGAURORA is proud to attend Sviaz ICT 2019. At Expocenter Krasnaya Presnya, we invite you to visit our booth (D29/D30) where JGAURORA is about to share years of experience in 3D printing industry and you can also learn how 3D printing brings you more possibilities.

We look forward to seeing you there.


JGAURORA Sparkles in BMW X5 Conference

by John Doe

December 29, 2018 — A 3D printed BMW X5 boutique model and the 3D printer brought by A5S. JGAURORA presented a tendency of “Car + 3D printer” in new BMW X5 conference, revealing a new vista of experience and sensory delight to all who attend the show.

BMW teams with MIT to design worlds first 3D printed inflatable material

by John Doe

MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Self-Assembly Laboratory and BMW have successfully developed printed inflatable material technologies that selftransform, adapt and morph from one state to another.

Named "liquid printed pneumatics", the object is on display at the V&A museum in london, as part of ‘the future starts here’ exhibition, which explores the power of design in shaping the world of tomorrow.

While at the same time, JGAURORA presented a 3D printed X5 brought by A5S, showing a tendency of “Car + 3D printer” in new BMW X5 conference, revealing a new vista of experience and sensory delight to all who attend the show. 


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