ABS Printing and bed temperature

Hello Makers. I come to you in my time of struggle, attempting to print with ABS. I thought I had one goal in mind, and that was to eventually make all my prints that need mechanical strength with ABS. I realized that I might be at a disappointing end with that goal though, as I just waited over 30 minutes while my Snapmaker A350 struggled to make it to 110 Celsius bed temp. It only made it to 98 After 33 minutes, and that is with the enclosure. Having bought this machine at the price point I did, I just assumed it would be capable of reaching the recommended bed temp for such a common filament. Frankly I’m very disappointed that such a machine supports such low bed temps. I understand it’s a limitation of the cables/power supply from my brief research into the issue.

Perhaps there is another solution though. I’m looking for another way forward, whether that means finding a way to print with ABS WITHOUT warping, or printing with a filament that has similar strengths to ABS in regards to temperature resistance and Mechanical strength. I’m ready to move past PLA into a filament that will allow me to print more consistently strong parts. Be it for a simple print, or ones that will be under small to moderate amounts of mechanical stress.

My current thoughts on the issue include setting a small portable heater inside of the enclosure to increase the ambient temperature of the enclosure. I live in a location that gets down to an ambient temp of 4 degrees Celsius in the winter, and maintains around a 15 degree Celsius ambient temp in summer. I’m wondering if printing with ABS will even be viable in the slightest in the winter without a heater like this. Has anyone thought to stick a heater inside of their enclosure, or is this just asking to fry my printer?

I’ve also been recommended high temp PLA for a temperature resistant filament, though I have my doubts as to if this will perform well under mechanical stress. I haven’t messed with PetG much, but I’m also including this in my possibilities as it has a lower bed temp requirement. Honestly any recommendations for printing with ABS or recommendations for temperature resistant, and mechanically strong filaments would be great!! I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Thank you for your time. Happy Making fellow Printers!

Originally, the Snapmaker2 wasn’t supposed to be capable of bed temperatures above 80C, so I’m unsurprised you weren’t able to get your unit up to 110C. I think some people have modded their units with better bed heaters with separate power supplies, and I know some people have succeeded in printing ABS with the stock bed, using an enclosure and various techniques like rafts/wide brims to reduce warping and pop-off.

I’m going to make a bit of an odd recommendation for mechanically stronger prints: PVB (Polyvinyl butyral, AKA Polysmooth). It isn’t that great when you initially pop the print off the bed, but put it in an isopropyl alcohol vapour bath for a few hours and the layers meld together to the point where the Z-axis weakness you see in typical prints almost goes away. It prints reasonably well with the default PLA settings. The downsides are: it’s expensive compared to PLA or ABS, the filament has to be kept dry before printing (absorbs water easily), and the surface of the plastic parts when they’re initially removed from the vapour bath is sticky and kind of gel-like.

Nylon is also a possibility, but it’s at the high end of the temperature range that the Snapmaker can print, and you’ll want to do your research on different types of nylon.

As @ElloryJaye stated, the official original maximum temperature for the A350 was listed at 80°C. About a year later they stated that some machines may be able to attain a temperature of 100°C after 30 minutes of heating up. Yours appears to be one of the machines that can’t quite get that high.

As for the time that it takes, 30 minutes is the normal amount of time you want to wait before printing when keeping the area enclosed, as you really want the ambient air to be around 44°C before printing. This is where most people make their mistake, and they start printing before the ambient air is hot enough to prevent warping. Keep the doors closed, and the exhaust fan off, as well.

Some ABS brands work in the 80-100°C range, while others may need a bed temperature of up to 120°C. You might want to test different brands, and see how well they work for you. To print Nylon, you need a dryer, and you will need to do an all-metal hot-end conversion, as the temps for nylon are beyond the safe level of the PTFE tube in the heat-break.

Thank you so much for the response! I’ll be doing some research into PVB now, as I was not even aware that this was a material! It does seem more expensive, but I’m definitely willing to give it a try. The aspect of strengthening it via iso alcohol seems very intriguing. Thanks for the recommendation on the filament!

It’s looking more and more likely that i’m going to get a small heater for inside the enclosure to ensure that proper ambient temps are kept up inside the enclosure. I’ll most likely combine that with some kind of thin insulation that wraps along the outside of the enclosure to keep temps up on cold nights.

I’m definitely going to be giving Snapmaker support a ring, as in one of their official tutorial videos it tells you to set the bed temperature to up to 110C. It even advertises near perfect Abs prints without an enclosure. So unless they have falsely advertised the ability of their product, I’ve got some learning to do on how to tune Abs for the snapmaker. According to them, it’s perfectly possible… I must have their secrets!! thanks again Ellory!

I really appreciate the tip about the ambient temperature, and will definitely be keeping this in mind during future prints. I admit I was not taking that into account when printing with Abs. I was only thinking about the set bed temp and the nozzle temp. I think this is where the small internal space heater may come in handy when it gets so cold here. Have some extra insulation laying around I can use as well.

As for the nylon, it may be a future possibility for me. I’m split on whether a dryer would be needed though. I’ll keep it in mind for sure. I live in an area where I have left pla, abs, and petg out without any need for any dryers. We have extremely low humidity here. I am intruiged at the all metal hotend conversion, though I will probably save that for later when I buy another 3DP module. I really appreciate the tips and advice CNC-M, I’ll be using them! Thanks!!