ABS + 3D Printing: A Road to New Future

Published By: IndustryARC Published On : 26-Apr-2017

3D printing comprises creation of a 3 dimensional object by adding successive layers of a particular material one on top of each other until the overall object has been formed. Adopting 3D printing to create models in a single process is cost-effective and consumes less time. Plastics are majorly employed for 3D printing as it serves huge advantage including fast availability, suitable for investment casting, low residual ash, and surface finishing and so on. Plastics are implemented in 3D printing for printing diverse medical devices such as instrumentation, implants, and external prostheses among others.

Although there are many thermoplastics in the market, very few are being used in 3D printing as they have to possess certain properties such as strength, durability and others. As ABS contains high durability and strength, it is well suited in 3D Printing. ABS also known as Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and PLA are the majorly used plastics in 3D printing. General purpose 3D printed thermoplastics, such as ABS, ABSi, ASA, Nylon 12 and polycarbonate, have good flexural strength characteristics and it exhibit high tensile and impact properties as well. These general purpose thermoplastics have been further enhanced to create specialty materials. ABS is an oil-based plastic which is a tough material and it can be used to create robust plastic objects for everyday use, for instance in cars, electrical equipment or even in the popular Lego bricks. Most commonly used materials in 3D printing include ABS and PLA.

If reproduced at the temperature suggested by the filament producer, ABS shows a better layer bond. These 3D printed objects are likely to be sturdier as well as high impact-resistant. Hence, it is more suited for mechanical parts and for objects that needs to be water and weather proof. Furthermore, ABS parts are more elastic than PLA derived portions and tend to bend rather than break under extreme pressure. Also, ABS is better malleable and also post processing is much easier with ABS. The 3D printed object can be cut, filed, sanded, painted, and bonded. Also, they can be treated with acetone in order to get a smooth and shiny surface or to weld two objects together. Aerospace sector is also incorporating printed plastics materials for replacing CNC-milled parts that reduce production costs, technically perform better, reduce weight of the entire system and offer better insulations. Scientific and technological advancements coupled with financial support from the government will also propel the growth of 3D printing using ABS resins in developed as well as developing countries.

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