I just recently started printing with ABS. I need various parts for my racing quadcopter and since I wanted to print parts that are strong, I decided to try ABS. But I have a problem with thin walls, and I’m not sure if the walls in the model simply are too thin, or if it’s me that can’t get the settings right.

I have tried to print the following model http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1644765. The distance between mount holes is 30.5mm and the walls are about 1mm thick.

I print with a Wanhao Duplicator 6 (also rebranded as “Monoprice Maker Ultimate 3d printer”) with enclosure. I have tried various combinations of the following settings:

  • Layer resolution: 0.04, 0.08, 0.12, 0.16, 0.20, 0.24
  • Print speed: 20mm, 30mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm
  • Temp: 230, 235, 240, 245, 250, 255 degrees
  • Bed temp: 50-115 degrees
  • Fan: Off
  • Distance between nozzle - bed: Various distances

While the main plate itself is VERY strong, I have severe problems making the thinner walls strong. The different settings absolutely do affect layer bonding, that’s for sure. But the walls in the model still break when I apply force, the layer adhesion breaks with a snap.

  1. Are my expectations of ABS are too high? If so, is there another filament better suited for finer prints that need to be strong? PETG?
  2. Are the walls in the model simply too thin to be durable? I don’t expect the walls to be able to take a severe beating, but I’d like the walls to bend instead of snap and break. Is that even possible?
  3. Can budget filament be the cause? I use a fresh roll of LuxorParts ABS that I could get fairly cheap in a local store.

I could of course make my own model, with thicker walls. But that would leave this question hanging over me. So before I move on, I’d like to know why my expectations doesn’t meet reality.

hi, I don’t think it’s “matter of material” but it all depends on fdm technology, I guess.
single layers can bond perfectly together but they still remain layers so the walls won’t ever behave like a single, solid piece of plastic.

it’s like a brick wall, it does stand up and looks pretty solid, but since there is no vertical strenght it won’t bear horizontal forces as well, even though you put a lot of concrete in between any layer

if what I think is right the answer to your question is no, your expectation on ABS are not too high.

But your expectation about fdm probably are.

hope this can help

Check into PETG. It will give more bend on thin walls than ABS and can be a little easier to print with.

For ABS it sounds like you are changing to much to ever get a good print. Start with the basics and change one thing at a time in small steps.

Proper level on bed.

Bed 110 max for first layer then drop a bit to 105 or 100 depending on adhesion and part size. Also let the inside of the enclosure get up to temp. 30c is a good starting point.

Extruder temp, 230 should be good for the most part.

Layers, start at .2 and get it going right.

Speed 2400mm/min is ok.

Now, thin walls. Make sure the thin walls are a multiple of the extrusion width, e.g. a .4 extrusion width does not go into a 1mm wall. You will have a .2 gap.

As wirlybird said, try PETG. But if you want to play with ABS in the meantime, you could try giving the part an acetone vapor bath. This helps smooth the walls and makes layer bonding a bit stronger.

You don’t say anything about the percentage of infill that you are using. I print between 230 and 240 degrees depending on the ABS and color. I would print this model at 100% infill and 40 mm/s (experiment and go up in speed). Use a thicker print setting 0.25 - 0.3 mm depending on your nozzle size (walls bond better with thicker layers). If you are printing at 100% infill I would say that it is a bad grade of resin. ABS is a little brittle but not as brittle as PLA but you should be able to print a usable part at a 1 mm wall thickness. PETG is a very good material and does not produce fumes when you print it but I have to print it hot (250 - 260 deg C). It will take some work to get it to print on your printer. Print PETG slow 25 - 50 mm /s and reduce down your extrusion multiplier to 0.85. I order my filament from Makergeeks (www.makergeeks.com). They have some of the best filament that I have found and it is reasonably priced.