ABS is one of the most-used plastics in the field of 3D printing in FDM / FFF technology. It is so popular due to its good strength properties, low price, which are combined with relative ease of printing. ASA material is also increasingly popular among popular 3D printing materials.

Until now, ASA has been identified only with high resistance to atmospheric factors. Can it start to compete with PLA or ABS?

ABS

ABS is a known polymer with very good strength properties. It has high hardness, resistance to some chemical elements, stiffness and high temperature stability. The big advantage of ABS is that it can be covered or painted with a thin layer of metal. This material is often used in industrial applications such as the production of housings, handles and buttons.

ASA

ASA has similar strength to ABS, but is additionally resistant to weather conditions, without the need for painting or surface treatment. The material is insensitive to UV radiation and moisture.

ASA 275 has increased flexibility and improved flow parameters, as well as increased adhesion between print layers. Material shrinkage has been minimized, which allows large models to be printed without the risk of deformation after cooling. This makes printing with ASA even easier. The material is used for the production of prototypes, functional production tools and elements resistant to weather exposure.

Comparison of materials – ABS vs. ASA

ABSASA
Properties– industrial grade material
– high impact resistance
– scratch resistance
– high mechanical strength
– the ability to 3D print at high speed without losing surface quality and mechanical properties
– very strong layer lamination
– thermal resistance
– excellent resistance to external exposure
– UV resistance
– 3D printing on desktop printers without a heated chamber
– excellent layer adhesion
– 3D printing up to 200 mm / s without loss of quality
gloss of the print surface
Applications– automotive industry
– production of parts for final use
– prototyping
– custom components
– functional prototypes
– instrumentation
– production tools
– parts intended for final use
– custom components
– elements requiring resistance to external exposure

ABS should be selected when:

  • high mechanical and temperature strength is required,
  • weather resistance is not required
  • we have a 3D printer with a built-in working chamber that is able to provide a constant 3D printing temperature
  • models are equipped with moving parts,
  • the models are intended for further plastic forming, without the risk of breakage.

ASA should be selected when:

  • resistance to changing weather conditions is required,
  • we have a desktop 3D printer without a heated chamber
  • mechanical and thermal resistance, similar to ABS
  • the application is the production of prototypes, functional production tools or everyday objects.

There is no one universal 3D printing filament. Each material has unique properties, which allows you to choose the perfect material for your specific application. When choosing a material, it is worth paying attention to the translation of mechanical, physical or chemical properties on the price of the filament. A critical assessment of our material requirements will allow us to choose the filament best suited to the requirements of the project.

Patrycja Dubert
Biomedical engineer interested in unconventional and innovative approach to medicine and its connection with modern technology.

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