ABS Material: Plastic Material for Prototyping and Parts

ABS Material Guide

ABS material was one of the first plastics used in many different industries. Due to its properties and characteristics, this material is often used for rapid prototyping. For example, its low cost and mechanical properties influence how it is used to make durable parts.

Using ABS for rapid prototyping is not so simple. This material has different types, each with its own special qualities. This article will serve as a guide to ABS materials, making it easy for you to use this material for rapid prototyping. Here, we will cover ABS plastic modeling in detail. This includes the properties of ABS, the different types of ABS materials, the uses of ABS, and other information on making rapid prototypes with ABS plastic.

Table of Contents

What Is ABS Material?

ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. It is a thermoplastic amorphous polymer known for its strength and resistance to breakage. It consists of three separate parts: styrene, butadiene, and acrylonitrile.

  • Acrylonitrile: This is a man-made molecule that comes from propylene and ammonia. It contributes to the weight and heat resistance of ABS materials.
  • Butadiene: This is a by-product of the process of making steam crackers from ethylene, and it gives ABS polymers their strength and hardness.
  • Styrene: Dehydrogenated ethylbenzene makes styrene. Styrene gives ABS its hardness and workability and allows it to be molded in different ways.

Properties of ABS Materials

It is recommended that you choose ABS material when looking for products to be used in building structures. This is due to its mechanical working principle. Here is some important information about this material:

  • ABS material is very resistant to weak acids and bases.
  • It does not react too strongly with aliphatic molecules.
  • ABS has very good thermal insulation properties.
  • It can be welded very well.
  • ABS has very good resistance to abrasion and tensile strength.
  • It has good physical stability (mainly mechanical strength and stability).
  • ABS has a good area aspect and a remarkable surface gloss.
  • It has high rigidity.

Advantages of Using ABS for Rapid Prototyping

So why do many people use ABS for rapid prototyping? Let’s look at a few of the advantages of using ABS plastic material for rapid prototyping:

  • This material can be used for machining, polishing, sanding, filing, drilling, painting, gluing, etc., and will have a good finish after these steps.
  • ABS is suitable for prototyping in many ways, especially for making great-looking samples and parts for real-life use.
  • ABS is characterized by high strength, flexibility, and resistance to wear and tear, making it a good material for rapid prototyping of products that require processing.

Disadvantages of Using ABS for Rapid Prototyping

ABS has many advantages, but also many disadvantages in the rapid prototyping process. The following are some of the disadvantages of using ABS for rapid prototyping.

  • ABS material is prone to deformation, curling, and cracking during the 3D printing process, which can lead to failure of the printing process.
  • ABS is a complex material to print on, and you need something to ensure a successful print. Because of this, in most rapid prototyping methods, ABS will give mixed results if not used by a team of design professionals.

Different Grades of ABS

There are different grades of ABS used in rapid prototyping. Each material has its own characteristics. Therefore, you should understand each grade before choosing one. The following grades of ABS are commonly used in rapid prototyping:

ABS Extrusion Grade

This grade of ABS is well-suited for rapid prototyping due to its unique mechanical properties. It is both strong and flexible. Because of this, it is used for items that require strong mechanical properties. This grade of ABS is manufactured by extrusion.

ABS Flame Retardant Grade

This grade of ABS has unique mechanical properties. However, its unique thermal properties make it more suitable for rapid prototyping. They are important for making items that are resistant to high temperatures. They can be mixed with other materials such as PVC or PC and then injection molded or extruded.

ABS Injection Molding Grade

The injection molding process is commonly used for these grades of ABS. ABS injection molding types are divided into different categories based on their impact resistance. Heat-resistant, medium-impact, high-impact, and fit-for-purpose are some of the sub-grades often used in rapid prototyping.

Other ABS Grades

Other types of ABS are used in rapid prototyping. however, they are blended with other materials for better mechanical qualities. These types of ABS include glass fiber reinforced, stainless steel fiber reinforced, and rubber or graphite fiber modified. These grades can be used in different types of rapid prototyping methods such as extrusion and injection molding.

ABS Plastic Prototyping

ABS plastic prototyping is probably the most popular prototyping method today. It is an excellent material for planning and developing new products. It is used in about 75% of all synthetic prototypes.

ABS is used because it is strong enough to be used in a variety of prototyping processes. This includes test functions, painting, plating, test functions, and other programs. Some professional engineers also prefer ABS because it is easier to machine and polish than other materials.

The sequence of rapid modeling with ABS plastic is different from other types of plastic. The following are some of the most commonly used ABS materials.

CNC Machining with ABS

There are several methods of CNC machining using ABS materials. However, extrusion is the most commonly used method. During extrusion, ABS is pushed into a die with a specific shape to form the shape of the mold.

At the end of the extrusion process, the polymer can be used in pipes that carry liquids. These ABS materials can be used in refrigerator cabinets and other cold places because they stay cold after extrusion. CNC machines can also perform cutting, punching, and turning.

Injection Molding of ABS Materials

ABS is a thermoplastic material that can be used for injection molding in many applications. This is because it has a high resistance to chemical corrosion and physical impact.

ABS injection molding plastics are well suited for electrical applications, as well as for structural uses that require strength, rigidity, and impact resistance.

3D Printing with ABS

ABS is better suited for 3D printing professionals because it can withstand high temperatures and is less likely to break when subjected to impact. However, it is more difficult to print than PLA.ABS material 3D prints best using FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling). Since ABS materials release particles that can harm those who use them, using a 3D printer with a closed container is fine.

ABS Materials in Additive Manufacturing

ABS materials are very stable in terms of strength, heat resistance, etc., and are therefore used in many industries. The following are some common uses of ABS materials in different production processes:

Automotive Industry

Materials used in the manufacture of automobiles usually have to meet a number of very strict standards. They must maintain the same size and shape under great stress, even when exposed to large temperature changes.

Because ABS materials meet all these requirements, they are ideally suited to this kind of business. It is used, for example, in automotive interiors and exteriors as well as in automotive instrument panels.

Electronics Industry

Materials that are resistant to wear and tear, look good, and are easy to maintain are becoming increasingly important in the electrical and electronics business. ABS is particularly useful in this regard because of its excellent antistatic properties.

ABS is preferred for housings and covers for electrical components because of its good electrical insulation properties.

Office Supplies

Whether at home or in the office, the use of beautiful, high-quality materials and fine designs can be very soothing. abs comes in many different colors. Putting ABS materials through different rapid prototyping steps can produce office supplies such as cell phone cases and storage.

Household Goods

ABS materials have high structural strength and stiffness. Therefore, they are well suited for making parts for household appliances.

Examples include helmets, Legos, other toys, household tools, lawnmower covers, and musical instruments.

How Do I Select the Right ABS Material?

Before you make your choice, make sure you understand what the ABS material is made of and how you want to use it. Here are some points to consider when selecting the right ABS material.

Properties of ABS

Before you start rapid prototyping, it is important to understand the properties of ABS. Each of the ABS materials mentioned above has its own properties. For example, ABS injection molding grades can withstand very high heat. Therefore, before choosing an ABS, you should consider the qualities you want in your final product.

Rapid Prototyping Process

ABS can be used in a number of different prototyping processes. 3D printing and injection molding are the two most common methods. Each rapid prototyping process requires a different grade of ABS. Therefore, you need to understand the different grades of ABS before choosing the right material.


When selecting a grade of ABS, you should also consider how easy it is to machine. Each type of ABS has a machinability factor. If we use the wrong grade of ABS, we will have trouble machining it. one of the problems that can occur with 3D printing is that it can warp.

Other Plastic Materials That Can Be Used for Rapid Prototyping

ABS does not have to be used for rapid prototyping. Different materials have different advantages and disadvantages and can be used for different types of tasks. The following are some of the plastics that are commonly used for rapid prototyping:

PC (Polycarbonate)

Polycarbonate has a few things that set it apart. It is a stable, strong, heat-resistant material that can be used in a variety of applications. For example, it is a key part of making gears, racks, and other things.

PP (Polypropylene)

Polypropylene is a clear, odorless, non-toxic plastic known for its structural stability and high degree of crystallinity. It is also resistant to heat and corrosion and has a low density.PP has low transparency, low gloss, and low hardness, but high impact strength. It is therefore an ideal material for the manufacture of products that require insulation and corrosion resistance.

PA (Polyamide)

Many people use polyamide for rapid prototyping because of its special qualities. It is very strong, does not soften easily, and has high heat resistance and a low coefficient of friction. Due to its good mechanical properties, polyamide is widely used in the manufacture of electronic products, textile machinery, and chemical machinery.

POM (Polyoxymethylene)

Polyacetal is another plastic that can be used in many different industrial environments. It is very hard and does not wear out easily. Because it is both strong and flexible, paraformaldehyde is used in the manufacture of gears, bearings, automotive parts, machine tools, instruments, toys, and more.


ABS is an important material for rapid prototyping in many fields. Therefore, it is important to have an in-depth understanding of its use, advantages, and disadvantages. Do you want to use ABS in your projects? At Yonglihao Machinery, we offer our customers the best rapid prototyping services using ABS. We can use and recommend any medium for rapid prototyping to take it a step further.

For many years we have been one of the best online rapid prototyping service providers in China. Because of this, we can offer excellent customer service as our experienced staff are always ready to help you throughout the process to ensure that all your project needs are met.


ABS is a thermoplastic polymer that can be used in a variety of rapid prototyping methods.ABS materials are commonly used in 3D printing and injection molding processes. This plastic is well known because it is inexpensive to manufacture and easy for plastics manufacturers to work with.

ABS is an amorphous heavy thermoplastic polymer. The term “thermoplastic” describes how a substance changes when exposed to heat. Thermoplastics become liquid at certain temperatures (221 degrees Fahrenheit for ABS plastic).

ABS is better for prototyping than nylon because it is weaker, less rigid, and lighter than nylon. It is a flexible material and is more chemically resistant than PLA (polypropylene lactone).

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