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ABS Material Guide - for CNC/3D printing

2022-12-13 16:29:16 JTC Model Technologies Co., Ltd., 0

What is ABS Material?

ABS or Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a common thermoplastic polymer typically used for injection molding applications.The production cost and processing difficulty of this engineering material are relatively low, and the quality of the material is very good, with the following characteristics:

  • Resistance to impact
  • Resistance to chemical
  • The structure is strong and the hardness is higher than plastic
  • Resistance to high temperature
  • Low temperature resistance
  • Good insulation
  • ...

ABS plastic attains these physical attributes through the initial creation process. By polymerizing styrene and acrylonitrile in the presence of polybutadiene, chemical “chains” attract each other and bind together to make ABS stronger. This combination of materials and plastics provides ABS with superior hardness, gloss, toughness and resistance properties, greater than that of pure polystyrene. View a detailed ABS Material Data Sheet to learn more about ABS’s physical, mechanical, electrical and thermal properties.

ABS plastic is advantageous in a wide variety of industries; however, certain physical limitations restrict the materials use in certain products and applications. These shortcomings include:

  • Weatherability (damaged by sunlight)
  • Solvent Resistance
  • Hazardous When Burned
  • Limited Uses in Association with Food Industry
  • Higher Price Than Polystyrene or Polyethylene

Thankfully, these limited disadvantages have not prevented ABS from providing effective solutions to thousands of industries and quality products for millions of different applications. The broad spectrum of ABS’s involvement in common products and applications that assist daily life is staggering. Here is a small selection of well-known products and applications that rely on ABS material: LEGO bricks, small kitchen appliances, keyboard keycaps, automotive components, protective headgear and musical instruments. Just to name a few!

All these products and applications are possible due to ABS’s ability to be injection molded and extruded, one of Plastic Extrusion Technologies many capabilities. With over 100 years in the plastics industry, Plastic Extrusion Technologies is one of many plastic manufacturers who use ABS material to create quality products and provide plastic solutions to companies around the world. Call or contact Plastic Extrusion Technologies today to learn more about ABS material and our plastic extrusion services.


Characteristics of ABS material

1. General performance

ABS engineering plastic appearance is opaque ivory grain, its products can be colorful, and has high gloss. The relative density of ABS is about 1.05, and the water absorption is low. ABS combines well with other materials and is easy for surface printing, coating and plating treatment. ABS has an oxygen index of 18 to 20 and is a flammable polymer with a yellow flame, black smoke and a distinctive cinnamon smell.

2. Mechanical properties

ABS has excellent mechanical properties, its impact strength is very good, can be used at very low temperature: ABS has excellent wear resistance, good dimensional stability, and oil resistance, can be used for bearings under moderate load and speed. The creep resistance of ABS is greater than PSF and PC, but smaller than PA and POM. The bending strength and compression strength of ABS are poor among plastics. The mechanical properties of ABS are greatly affected by temperature.

3. Thermal performance

The thermal deformation temperature of ABS is 93~118℃, and it can be increased by about 10℃ after annealing treatment. ABS can still show a little toughness at -40℃, and can be used in the temperature range of -40~100℃.

4. Electrical properties

ABS has good electrical insulation and is almost unaffected by temperature, humidity and frequency, so it can be used in most environments.

5. Environmental performance

ABS is not affected by water, inorganic salts, bases and a variety of acids, but it is soluble in ketones, aldehydes and chlorinated hydrocarbons, and will cause stress cracking when eroded by glacial acetic acid and vegetable oil. ABS has poor weather resistance and is prone to degradation under UV light. After six months outdoors, the impact strength decreased by half.


In what industries are ABS parts used?

The largest application field of ABS resin is automotive, electronic and electrical appliances, building materials and DIY production fields. The use of automobile field includes automobile instrument panel, body panel, interior decoration board, steering wheel, sound insulation board, door lock, bumper, ventilation pipe and many other components. In the electrical aspects are widely used in refrigerators, TV sets, washing machines, air conditioners, computers, copiers and other electronic appliances. In terms of building materials, ABS pipe, ABS sanitary ware and ABS decorative board are widely used in building materials industry. DIY aspect, model airplane wings and so on. In addition, ABS is widely used in packaging, furniture, sports and entertainment supplies, machinery and instrument industry.

1.ABS parts are used in the automobile industry

The important goals of automobile interior include beauty, low odor, mechanical properties, heat and weather resistance. Automotive materials can meet the use requirements of various interior components, materials with the following conditions:

  • Good liquidity
  • Excellent impact resistance
  • Easy to process and form
  • Easy coloring and spraying
  • Low odor
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Matte effect

2.ABS components are applied to the 3D printing industry

Abs engineering plastic is one of the main materials of 3D printing. The reason why it can become the consumable material of 3d printing is determined by its characteristics. abs plastic has the characteristics of heat resistance, impact resistance, low temperature resistance, chemical resistance, excellent electrical performance, stable product size and so on.

ABS was one of the first plastics used in 3D printers, and ABS remains a very popular material due to its low cost and good mechanical properties. ABS is known for its toughness and impact resistance, enabling you to print durable parts that can withstand additional use and wear. Lego bricks are made of this material for the same reason! ABS also has a higher glass transition temperature, which means the material can withstand higher temperatures before it begins to deform. This makes ABS an excellent choice for outdoor or high temperature applications.

When printing with ABS, be sure to use a well-ventilated open space, as this material tends to have a slight smell.


ABS frequently asked Questions for 3D printing

These tips will help you reduce the chances of common 3D printing issues associated with ABS such as warping and fumes.

1. Control warping

One of the most common print quality problems with ABS is warping. As the plastic cools from extrusion to room temperature, this temperature change causes the plastic to shrink. This is especially troublesome for the first layer, as such dimensional changes often cause the part to separate from the bed, ruining the print. You can minimize this effect by using an appropriate constructed surface heated to 110º C. The build platform will transfer some of its heat to the first few layers of the parts, which will prevent them from shrinking and separating from the bed. For the first few layers of printing, it is also common to set the extruder temperature to 10 to 20 degrees higher, which also helps reduce the risk of separation. Simplify3D gives you complete control over your bed and extruder temperatures, so you can easily set the desired values on a per-layer basis using the "Temperature" TAB of your process Settings. While these changes help the bottom layer of the print, the higher parts can be problematic as the layers move further and further away from the bed. When printing larger parts, consider adding a housing around the printer to maintain a higher temperature around the print. The housing also protects against airflow that cools parts quickly during the printing process. If you have performed these steps and are still experiencing deformation and separation problems, our print quality guide has an entire section devoted to deformation that can give you more information on the topic: As the layers get further away from the bed, the higher parts may have problems.

When printing larger parts, consider adding a housing around the printer to maintain a higher temperature around the print. The housing also protects against airflow that cools parts quickly during the printing process. If you have performed these steps and are still experiencing deformation and separation problems, our print quality guide has an entire section devoted to deformation that can give you more information on the topic: As the layers get further away from the bed, the higher parts may have problems.

When printing larger parts, consider adding a housing around the printer to maintain a higher temperature around the print. The housing also protects against airflow that cools parts quickly during the printing process.

2. Use edges and valves

When printing large parts or thin, delicate parts, you may find that you still cannot adhere these parts to the bed properly. In these cases, adding edges or baseboards to your printouts may be a good way to secure these parts to the build platform and prevent warping. The edges add several plastic rings around the first few layers of the model, creating extra surface area to hold down the edges of the parts. Using the raft actually prints a brand new plastic structure underneath the print, which can be removed when it's finished. The rafts in Simplify3D are heavily optimized for version 4.0, allowing them to print faster and use more materials, but you may still find the edges faster for larger parts.

3. Print in a well-ventilated area

Printing with ABS is known to produce strong odors and fumes that can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities. Avoid confined Spaces and place your printer in a well-ventilated area to avoid these problems. Newer 3D printers may include a separate air filtration system or HEPA filter that can deal with this smoke at source. If your printer does not have these features, or your printer placement is limited, consider opening Windows or using flexible ventilation ducts at your local hardware store to help vent the smoke outside.


What is ABS NC machining?

ABS CNC machining is the process of converting raw materials into finished products by using computer-controlled machinery. The process involves the cutting, shaping and molding of materials. It can be used to produce complex parts that cannot be made by hand by other methods.

Advantages of ABS CNC machining over traditional manufacturing methods (such as casting and forging) :
Cost effectiveness: The cost effectiveness of ABS CNC machining is attributed to the fact that it allows mass production of the same parts at a relatively low cost per part. This allows companies to sell their products at affordable prices.

Durability: The precision with which parts are made using this method makes them very durable compared to other methods such as casting or forging, as human error or lack of quality control standards are likely to result in failure during the manufacturing process. The use of modern CNC machines also allows for the creation of exact replicas of parts for different applications. This means you can create a series of identical products without having to worry about quality control issues or inconsistencies. Flexibility: The fact that the process allows for mass production allows companies to make small modifications to their products at any point in time without incurring additional costs.

Are there any special precautions or precautions to be taken when using abs cnc parts?

The ABS plastic used to make CNC parts is a strong impact resistant plastic with a high strength-to-weight ratio. It is therefore very useful in making machines and other heavy equipment because of its durability.

Generally speaking, ABS plastics can be processed with standard CNC machine tools. If you are using ABS parts, be aware that the cutting tool can get hot during machining. This is due to friction between the tool and the material being handled.

The main advantage of using ABS plastics for CNC parts is that it has good wear resistance, allowing you to use them longer without any damage or wear. But that doesn't mean these materials will work without any problems; A number of factors need to be taken into account when using these materials to ensure that they do not suffer any damage during the production process.

What are the most common applications of this technology, and how have they evolved over time?

ABS is commonly used in the manufacture of plastic products. The material is popular with manufacturers for its excellent strength-to-weight ratio and cracking resistance.

ABS has been used in a wide variety of applications, including consumer goods such as toys and electronics, as well as industrial applications such as auto parts and appliances.

ABS CNC machining has been around for decades, but only recently has the technology reached a point where it can be used for mass production with an acceptable level of accuracy.

The first ABS CNC machine was developed by Haas Automation in 1979. It is capable of producing parts with tolerances as low as ±0.005 inches (0.127 mm). The first fully functional machine - capable of producing functional parts - was built by Siemens in 1986.

How does abs cnc machining compare to other forms of computer-aided manufacturing, such as 3D printing?

ABS CNC machining is a computer-aided process that uses a three-axis milling machine to create precision parts from a single piece of material. The material is first cut from the larger blocks and then the parts are ground to their final shape and size. This is done with high-speed milling bits programmed by a computer and guided by special software.

There are many advantages to using ABS CNC machining to meet your manufacturing needs, including:

Speed - 3D printers don't print in layers like 2D printers do, so they move slowly when building shapes. CNC milling machines can produce parts faster than printing presses, which can be an advantage if you need to produce small batch parts quickly.

Accuracy - 3D printers often struggle with complex shapes, and when they print overhangs or curved surfaces, they often end up with rough edges or fragments because there is not enough support structure in the design to hold them together properly during the printing process. CNC machines cut materials precisely, so they don't wobble or break when making complex shapes, such as those in medical devices or other industries where precision is important.

Cost - It costs more to buy and maintain a CNC machine than a 3D printer, but if you need mass production then this can be an advantage to using CNC machines.


Do you need support from abs cnc parts suppliers?

If you need CNC machining for ABS parts, contact the JTC-Machining Centen via email or machining form.

The services we can provide for you:

CNC Machining

It is a computerized manufacturing process in which pre-programmed software and code controls the movement of production equipment. CNC machining controls a range of complex machinery, such as grinders, lathes, and turning mills, all of which are used to cut, shape, and create different parts and prototypes.

CNC Milling

CNC milling is a manufacturing process that uses a cutting tool mounted on a rotating spindle to selectively remove material from a block of raw substrate. The workpiece is rigidly mounted to a table, and this table moves or rotates on different planes so the tool can work at many angles.

CNC Turning

CNC turning is a manufacturing process that involves holding bars of material in a chuck and rotating them while feeding a tool to the piece to remove material until the desired shape is achieved. As the desired shape is achieved through the removal of material, it is also known as subtraction machining.

Rapid prototype

Rapid prototyping is the fast fabrication of a physical part, model or assembly using 3D computer aided design (CAD). The creation of the part, model or assembly is usually completed using additive manufacturing, or more commonly known as 3D printing.

SLS 3D Printing

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an industrial 3D printing process that produces accurate - rapid prototypes and functional production parts in as fast as 1 day. Multiple nylon-based materials are available, which create highly durable final parts.

SLA 3D Printing

Stereolithography (SLA) is an industrial 3D printing process used to create concept models, cosmetic prototypes, and complex parts with intricate geometries in as fast as 1 day. A wide selection of materials, extremely high feature resolutions, and quality surface finishes are possible with SLA.

Vacuum Casting

Vacuum casting is a casting process for elastomers using a vacuum to draw the liquid material into the mold. This process is used when air entrapment is a problem, there are intricate details or undercuts, or if the material is fiber or wire reinforced.


RIM is a process in which two or more liquid intermediates (isocyanate and a polyol) are metered separately to a mixing head where they are combined by high-pressure impingement mixing and subsequently flow into a mold where they polymerize to form a molded part.

Sheet metal fabrication

In the broadest sense, sheet metal fabrication is the creation of metal structures by using a variety of processes. Most often sheets of steel or other metal materials are processed and assembled to create a larger final product.

Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is mainly a thermal process in which a focused laser beam is used to melt material in a localised area. A co-axial gas jet is used to eject the molten material and create a kerf. A continuous cut is produced by moving the laser beam or workpiece under CNC control.

Sheet Bending

Sheet metal bending is an operation that involves using forces to change the shape of a sheet. This is done to achieve the desired form or shape needed for a manufacturing process. The external force used alters only the external features of the sheet.

Mold making

Molding or Moldmaking is the act of creating the cavity / form that carries a negative or reverse impression of an original model. Molds can be made of a rigid material, such as plaster or plastic resin or more commonly, a flexible material such as rubber.

Injection molding

Injection molding is a forming process using molds. Materials such as synthetic resins (plastics) are heated and melted, and then sent to the mold where they are cooled to form the designed shape. Due to the resemblance to the process of injecting fluids using a syringe, this process is called injection molding.

Die Casting

Die casting is a process in which objects of a particular shape are produced by forcing a molten material into a mold under pressure. Aluminum alloy cylinder heads are made by high-pressure die casting. Die casting is a metal casting process in which molten metal is forced under high pressure into a mold cavity.

Investment Casting

Investment casting, also known as precision casting or lost-wax casting, is a manufacturing process in which a wax pattern is used to shape a disposable ceramic mold. A wax pattern is made in the exact shape of the item to be cast. This pattern is coated with a refractory ceramic material.

Materials we can process:


Aluminium is a silvery-white metal, the 13 element in the periodic table. One surprising fact about aluminium is that it's the most widespread metal on Earth, making up more than 8% of the Earth's core mass. It's also the third most common chemical element on our planet after oxygen and silicon.


brass, alloy of copper and zinc, of historical and enduring importance because of its hardness and workability. The earliest brass, called calamine brass, dates to Neolithic times; it was probably made by reduction of mixtures of zinc ores and copper ores.


Copper is element number 29 on the Periodic Table of Elements. It is considered a semi-precious, nonferrous, malleable metal with many hundreds of applications in the areas of electricity and electronics, plumbing, building construction and architecture, industry, transportation, and consumer and health products.

Stainless steel

Stainless steels are steels containing at least 10.5% chromium, less than 1.2% carbon and other alloying elements. Stainless steel's corrosion resistance and mechanical properties can be further enhanced by adding other elements, such as nickel, molybdenum, titanium, niobium, manganese, etc.


Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon containing less than 2% carbon and 1% manganese and small amounts of silicon, phosphorus, sulphur and oxygen. Steel is the world's most important engineering and construction material.


The difference between pure titanium and alloys is that an alloy is made up of titanium and other metals. The reason why titanium is mixed with other elements is to provide additional strength, flexibility and malleability. Grade 5 is one of the titanium alloys that we supply at Ti-Tek.


ABS or Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a common thermoplastic polymer typically used for injection molding applications.The production cost and processing difficulty of this engineering material are relatively low, and the quality of the material is very good, with the following characteristics:


PEEK material (polyetheretherketone) is a high-performance semi-crystalline engineering thermoplastic with outstanding harsh chemical resistance, very low moisture uptake, good fire performance, excellent mechanical strength across a broad temperature range, and good dimensional stability.


Polycarbonate (PC) plastics are a naturally transparent amorphous thermoplastic. Although they are made commercially available in a variety of colors (perhaps translucent and perhaps not), the raw material allows for the internal transmission of light nearly in the same capacity as glass.


Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly used thermoplastics in the world. Polypropylene uses range from plastic packaging, plastic parts for machinery and equipment and even fibres and textiles.


Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene. Being hydrophobic, non-wetting, high density and resistant to high temperatures, PTFE is an incredibly versatile material with a wide variety of applications, though it's perhaps best-known for its non-stick properties.

Surface treatment process we can provide:


Polishing is the process of creating a smooth and shiny surface by rubbing it or by applying a chemical treatment, leaving a clean surface with a significant specular reflection (still limited by the index of refraction of the material according to the Fresnel equations).


Anodizing is a process that thickens the natural oxide layer on a metal part's surface into an anodic oxide film. This extra thickness protects the part's surface and improves aesthetics. Aluminum and titanium are the most commonly anodized metals, but other nonferrous metals can also undergo the process.

Black Oxide

Black oxide is a material used for coating materials such as stainless steel, copper, and zinc, which are all considered ferrous materials. This coating is unique because it will give you the same results as other finishes, but it is cheaper to do and has distinctive advantages.

Powder Coating

Powder Coating is a dry finishing process created by an electric charge that causes a dry powder to fuse to the surface of the metal. This is then baked in a curing oven to achieve a smooth coating. It is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint.


Brushing surface finish involves using different brush types to improve the surface quality of products and get the desired appearance. Brushes used in this case are distinguishable from coated or bonded abrasive products. They are filamentary in nature.


Alocrom (or Alodine in the US) is a Chromate conversion coating that is applied to aluminium alloys, which provides a level of corrosion protection. Alocrom is also good for paint adhesion and is electrically conductive. Poeton can apply the process to the MIL-DTL-5541 approval.

No Burrs

Deburring is the process of removing the small imperfections known as burrs from machined metal products. Machining processes shape a piece of metal in different ways. Stamping, for instance, presses the workpiece in a die set, while milling uses a rotating tool to shave metal off a workpiece.