When I first started printing with it, I was convinced that ABS really stood for something besides “Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene”.  My mind  three particular expletives were inserted in a certain order (A!B!S!) to describe my feelings about the material relative to printing it.  Delamination, shrinkage, pulling tape off of the bed, clogs, you name it.  Most of that kind of attitude, applied to any situation stems from frustration due to mis-understanding.  In this case, material properties.  Here is what I did with our dedicated ABS printer to try to alleviate two major issues, which are delamination between layers, and warpage.

I enclosed and insulated one of our machines.  We had a real problem with larger prints cooling improperly, and destroying themselves by popping apart at the seams.   With a few quick and dirty mods to the machine, we had a semi-enclosed build space that could keep our builds toasty to the finish.  One was a removable polycarbonate  panel for the front sealed with some weatherstripping.  It hangs on the heads of some longer bolts that I replaced the original screws with.  The rest was taken care of with a 3 dollar windshield sun visor and some spray adhesive to insulate the insides.  The top is just the leftovers of the visor with a hole through it that slides around with the extruder. Though not pretty, those mods vastly improved the results of our ABS prints, and eliminated the delamination issue all together.  (FF now sells the Creator X Pro, which comes with polycarbonate panels to enclose the build space.) 

big ass print

Full build space volume print in black ABS.  A little warping visible on the bottom, no delamination.

The interior of the build space sits at about 57 degrees C, solely from the heat of a 110 degree C build plate.  That also means the components inside the space run hotter, which made me paranoid of at first, but everything seems O.K. so far….

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5 Comments on FlashForge and ABS

  1. Aaron Gilliam says:

    I’m having severe problems with delamination on my FFCP printer using ABS and Taulman Bridge Nylon. I do not have any problems with adhesion. I have insulated the build chamber and enclosed it better than stock, but the layers peel apart no matter what I do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    FlashForge is no help. They have avoided this issue since the day I bought my first FFCP.

    • ganter says:

      Aaron, we have seen this. You might try different color filament AND try different vendors of ABS. We had great luck printing in ABS and then got a batch of filament that was horrible. A good notebook and some experimentation is required (also don’t purchase the lowest cost filament). Lastly, black can be a bad color as it might only be black because it is full of strange things and can not be any other color.

      • Aarons Gilliam says:

        That’s what’s weird.. I have tried white, yellow, natural, and black. None work. I have gotten moderately expensive filament including flashforge, bumat, mg chemicals, and shaxon. I checked my z height by printing a test cube 20mmx20mmx10mm (flashforge test cube) and z is dead on the money. I’ve given up hope. I purchased a filastruder to make my own filament and that was a mistake…. it hasn’t worked since the beginning and getting no support from Tim either. Just sarcasm and condescending replys.
        Flashforge is not helping me with this issue it’s been 5 months and they avoid my emails about that only. Everything else I get a reply. Any other ideas? Temps? Someone told me 240 was too hot for abs. Which I don’t believe. And they told me that’s why I have delamination..

        • Eamon McQuaide says:

          I don’t have any experience with Nylon at all, except the few times I have seen Professor Ganter’s graduate students fiddling with it. They seemed to have decent results with a heated build plate, but shrinkage and delamination worse than ABS were problems they experienced as well. I have not seen them try it with an enclosed and insulated build chamber, but they may have without my knowledge.
          I’m guessing the reason FF doesn’t get back to you on your Nylon issues is that they don’t advertise the machine to be used with the material, and their technicians are probably told specifically not to go down that rabbit hole. I wouldn’t expect them to give any pointers on anything but ABS and PLA, and I don’t blame them for setting boundaries. With the hundreds of different materials out there, they would have to turn into a full time free of charge material science support firm. Why do you think Makerbot started making chipped enclosed filament spools? They were spending a fortune paying people to tell other people the same thing over and over again: “You are using the wrong settings for the material you are using. Does the filament say ABS of PLA on it? Did we manufacture it, or did some company we have no knowledge of that has their own quality standards make it? Did you leave something in there to bake for three weeks before attempting to fix the issue?”
          You are entering a world of experimentation with the “high performance” thermoplastics, and Professor Ganter is right. You will have to get out a notebook, and start trying things, and keep very specific notes. Here are some important variables:
          Material:
          Material manufacturer:
          Material batch number:
          Age:
          How it was stored (sealed in a ziplock bag with a desiccant?):
          Bed temp:
          Extruder nozzle temp:
          Ambient temperature in the build space (very important with delamination):
          Standard printer settings used (which default did you start with?):
          Deviation from standard printer settings (what did you change this time?):
          Very specifically in detail how the new settings changed the print results this time:
          Was the result repeatable?:

          If it sounds like allot of work and fiddling around, it’s true. It usually is. When you do finally get it things figured out, you may feel inclined to share your results with the community to make the world a better place (YAY!) or feel like all that time and effort should be payed for some other way (Booo?). In general, poor internet responses come from 2 kinds of people:
          1. Those who have put in the effort and time into their printer (as stated above) and feel that you should suffer as they have before they will start give out information.
          2. Those don’t know the answer, and to hide their insecurity their best response is to distract you by being a jerk about it. In my mind they don’t exist, because they are just background noise and have nothing to offer humanity.

          The best of luck in your endeavors!

          • Aaron Gilliam says:

            Yeah I totally agree and cn understand with flashforge. I understand why makerbot did what they did with their filament too.

            I’ve been doing some notepad stuff and have gotten slightly better results but nothing worth saying hey I’ve got it lol.

            I guess I just need to keep plugging away and sampling.

            Thank you for your reply. Still waiting for a response from flashforge and abs using their abs filament. Hopefully I can get something going.

            I did find I get better adhesion on layers as long as I use 50% Or better infill. So I’m guessing that might be the trick.

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