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Best Bed Surface for ABS?

Posted by DGC PartWorks 
Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 11:20AM
I've been reading a lot on this forum and it's hard to see that there's any consensus on this. If there's a detailed discussion somewhere that I've missed, please feel free to point me to it.

I'm running a non-heated bed (original Mendel) and I've found that ABS (3mm, white, 230°C) won't even think of sticking to the blue painter's tape that was so good for PLA.

What have you guys been successful with in terms of a surface for getting ABS to stick well? I'm going to try adjusting the temperature and a few things but I'd like to avoid re-inventing the wheel.

Please remember this is a non-heated bed.

Thanks.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 11:42AM
If you don't have a heated bed (or chamber) then don't print with ABS.
You won't be a happy camper!


Bob Morrison
Wörth am Rhein, Germany
"Luke, use the source!"
BLOG - PHOTOS - Thingiverse
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 12:00PM
I've been using kapton tape without major problems (3mm abs, ~230 C, 0.5 nozzle) and though I use a heated bed (highly recommended) I tried to print a couple of times without bed heat; sticking was an issue but warping more so.
I used a little bit of abs dissolved in acetone to prime the bed (just smear an even layer over the print surface) since abs probably sticks better to itself than a foreign surface...
I'm not sure how well the painters tape handles being doused in acetone though, it might dissolve...

My advice is stick to pla (heh, pun intended?) or get yourself a bed heater of some kind.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 01:17PM
I have good results of printing ABS.

I use kapton tape on glass. Bed temp is 110, and extruder is 230 for first layer.

To fight warping use a cooling fan and 'Brim". Don't enable the fan for the first few layers.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 03:52PM
I've printed ABS without a heated bed by just smearing ABS juice on blue painters tape. I haven't printed anything huge yet, but I've not had problems with warping. Heated beds aren't completely necessary for ABS.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 04:36PM
Has anyone tried the Gekko printing surface - seen it on eBay - quite expensive - don't know what it's made of? but claims to stick down ABS during the print and pop off at the end.... Not sure I believe it until I see a video or someone has tried it out - anyone?

I use PET tape at the moment with heated bed at about 90 degrees, sticks well and can be removed (with some force) when cooled to about 40 degrees.

I don't use ABS very often.


[richrap.blogspot.com]
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 05:44PM
jakowisp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have good results of printing ABS.
>
> I use kapton tape on glass. Bed temp is 110, and
> extruder is 230 for first layer.
>
> To fight warping use a cooling fan and 'Brim".
> Don't enable the fan for the first few layers.

I was running this setup until recently (well, 240c, 100c, PET tape). I thought it was pretty good, but now I am running at 240C, 100C no fan and Pet. My quality jumped up by a good margin when I ditched the fan. I think that ABS + Fan = weak prints now. Play around jakowisp I reckon you can get better.

To the OP. Get a heatbed and some cheapo chinese Kapton/PET tape (100mm wide Kapton/PET). While you might just get a few prints off without the heated print bed, you are always going to be fighting for good prints. The heated print bed is going to make life a whole lot easier.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 08:52PM
I use diluted PVA glue on glass for both ABS and PLA. Works great for both. Heated bed at approximately 110 C for ABS.


Cameron

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Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 09:31PM
I just ordered some 100mm PET tape, for ABS printing. Do people using PET roughen or lightly sand the surface before use? I had a cold bed with PET tape on it a long time ago, and needed to do this to make PLA stick.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 10:14PM
I found that PET works best with ABS when used as is so that prints come off by themselves when the bed cools down to room temperature just like PLA on glass. When I have adhesion problems while printing, I dab some very dilute ABS on acetone on it while hot. I had a really hard time removing parts from sanded PET with ABS juice even after cooling it down.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 22, 2012 11:21PM
I’ve had good luck with using floor acrylic on glass. The glass heats up and dries the acrylic, leaving a sticky surface. Scrape it up with sand paper and it will even work with pla. abs sticks quite well already.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 23, 2012 11:34AM
Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all the input on this issue of bed configurations used/tried with ABS. It's apparent that there are varying methods being used, and many new ideas being pioneered. That's the beauty of a community like this.

I see quite a consensus around heated beds, but I'm a ways away from being able to implement that feature on my machine, so I'll continue to experiment with cold bed ABS substrates. I'm sure I can learn a lot even if I fail to get the desired quality without a heated bed. Who knows.. I might crack the code on cold-bed ABS printing!

Keep the excellent suggestions coming!

Brian-
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
October 23, 2012 06:14PM
Well, even if you get it to stick, you'll be facing the next problem: warping. You're on a path where a lot of people have tried and failed. If you want to print without a heated bed, then print PLA.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
March 15, 2019 05:43AM
Quote
jamesdanielv
I’ve had good luck with using floor acrylic on glass. The glass heats up and dries the acrylic, leaving a sticky surface. Scrape it up with sand paper and it will even work with pla. abs sticks quite well already.

Though I can currently print quite well on a GeckoTek print surface heated to 110 C, I always look for ways to print ABS at a lower bed temperature. This quest led me to your tip on floor acrylic. So I looked around the house and found a can of Rustoleum Painter's Touch Clear Gloss. I think I found the holy grail of ABS printing. I was able to print my warp test at a bed setting of 20C. Not only did the print not warp, but it also stuck quite well to the glass bed covered with this clear coating. I'm not sure what this stuff is made of, but the can does say it's Premium Latex Paint. I think the bottom of the print took some of this coating when I pried it off the bed. Thank you for sharing your discovery. This stuff is way better than ABS juice.
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
March 15, 2019 08:06AM
Did you know this thread is 7 years old?

Sticking to the bed is only one, easily solved problem for printing ABS. These days, PEI is the goto surface for printing most materials, including ABS. The real trick is printing parts that don't pull themselves apart. ABS shrinks as it cools, which is what causes it to lift off the bed and to split at layer boundaries. Preventing splitting requires a warm enclosure. You can get away with printing single-walled vases and small parts in ABS without an enclosure, but printing anything substantial requires an enclosure at 50C or so.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/2019 08:06AM by the_digital_dentist.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
March 15, 2019 04:31PM
Yes, I did notice that the thread was really old but since I benefited from it, I thought I should do the same. I didn't realize that 3D printing has been around for so long as I've just got my first printer recently and still learning the art. Now that you're mentioning PEI, I'll definitely give it a look. I got some PET sheets but never used them except for bed leveling; I think it works better than a sheet of paper. Thank you also for sharing your thoughts on why you need a warm enclosure; this tip never registered in my mind until now. Is this generally true with other types of filaments as well, like polycarbonate for example?
Re: Best Bed Surface for ABS?
March 15, 2019 07:02PM
I believe PC needs a warm enclosure, too, but much warmer than 50C. PLA prints best at 35C, but room temperature is ok. PETG and TPU are good at room temperature, too. PLA benefits from a print cooling fan.


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
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