56384ccb mixed polylite

The Importance of Proper Storage for ASA and ABS Filaments

Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) are two of the most popular filaments used in 3D printing. Highly regarded for their temperature resistance and mechanical properties, these filaments offer exceptional versatility and durability in various applications.

Unique Prints, a leading 3D printing company situated in Australia, recognizes the paramount importance of correctly storing these materials to maintain their quality and ensure consistently outstanding printing results. With a meticulous approach to filament storage, they meticulously control factors like temperature, humidity, and exposure to prevent any degradation or moisture absorption.

Proper storage is crucial as it directly influences the filament’s performance and longevity, impacting critical aspects such as layer adhesion, dimensional accuracy, and overall printing quality. By upholding the highest standards of material storage, Unique Prints ensures that their clients receive the highest quality prints, with impeccable detail and structural integrity, every time.

How to Store ASA and ABS Filaments to Prevent Degradation

Ambient Temperature and Humidity Control

Maintaining a consistent ambient temperature is crucial for storing ASA and ABS filaments. These materials are prone to warping and deforming under fluctuating temperatures. Ideally, a stable room temperature of about 20°C (68°F) is recommended. Additionally, a humidity-controlled environment is essential, as high humidity levels can lead to moisture absorption, impacting the filaments’ mechanical properties. Using a dehumidifier or storing the filaments in a room with controlled humidity can significantly reduce the risk of degradation.

Airtight Containers with Desiccants

To further protect ASA and ABS filaments from moisture, storing them in airtight containers with desiccants is a must. Silica gel packets are commonly used as they absorb any residual moisture within the container. It’s important to check and replace these desiccants periodically to ensure they remain effective.

Vacuum Sealing for Long-Term Storage

For filaments that are not used frequently, vacuum sealing provides an additional layer of protection against environmental factors. This method involves sealing the filament in a specialized bag, typically made of airtight material, from which all the air is removed using a vacuum pump or a sealing machine.

By creating a near-perfect environment with no oxygen or moisture, vacuum sealing ensures optimal conditions for long-term storage, preventing degradation and maintaining the quality of the filament for extended periods of time. This simple yet effective technique is widely used by enthusiasts and professionals alike to safeguard their filaments and maximize their shelf life.

UV Protection

ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) filaments, commonly used in 3D printing, are susceptible to degradation when exposed to prolonged UV light. This degradation can compromise their UV resistance properties, leading to potential quality issues in printed objects.

To prevent this, it is recommended to store these filaments in opaque or UV-protective containers, shielding them from harmful UV rays. By taking this simple precaution, you can ensure the longevity and performance of your printed creations.

Tips for Handling ASA and ABS Filaments to Avoid Printing Problems

Handling 3d printer fialments

Gentle Unwinding and Loading

When loading the filament into the 3D printer, it is important to handle it with care. Gently unwind the filament from the spool, making sure to avoid any tangling or snapping. Taking these precautions ensures a smooth and consistent feed into the printer, minimizing the chances of any interruptions during the printing process. By paying attention to these small details, you can enhance the overall printing experience and achieve better results.

Preheating the Printer

Before inserting the filament into the 3D printer, it is important to preheat the printer to the recommended nozzle and bed temperatures. This preheating phase not only ensures smoother filament loading but also promotes better initial layer adhesion during the printing process.

By allowing the printer to reach the optimal temperature range, it helps to achieve more precise and high-quality prints. So, take a moment to ensure that your 3D printer is properly preheated before starting your printing project.

Clean and Calibrate the Printer Regularly

To ensure the proper handling of ASA and ABS filaments during the printing process, it is crucial to regularly clean and calibrate the 3D printer. This involves meticulous cleaning of the nozzle to prevent any potential clogs and meticulous calibration of the print bed to achieve optimal layer adhesion. By taking these necessary steps, you can enhance the overall printing performance and achieve high-quality prints consistently.

Avoiding Contamination

To ensure optimal print quality and adhesion, it is crucial to handle filaments with clean hands or gloves. This precautionary measure helps prevent the transfer of oils or dirt, which can contaminate the printing surfaces. By maintaining cleanliness during filament handling, you can effectively mitigate the risk of encountering poor print quality and adhesion issues.

Common Storage and Handling Issues with ASA and ABS Filaments

High Humidity Effects

One common issue is the exposure of ASA and ABS filaments to high humidity. This exposure can lead to weakened structural integrity and poor print quality. In some cases, filaments exposed to high humidity for prolonged periods may need to be dried in a convection oven at a controlled temperature to restore their properties.

Temperature Fluctuations

Another common issue in 3D printing is the exposure to varying ambient temperatures. When the temperature is too high, the filaments used in printing can expand, leading to potential warping or deformation of the printed object. On the other hand, when the temperature is too low, the filaments can contract, resulting in poor adhesion between layers and potential print failures. These inconsistencies caused by temperature fluctuations highlight the importance of maintaining a controlled environment for optimal 3D printing results.

Troubleshooting Printing Problems Caused by Improper Storage or Handling of ASA and ABS Filaments

3d Printing

Adjusting Printer Settings for Compromised Filaments

If the filament has been slightly compromised due to improper storage, adjusting the print settings can sometimes compensate. Increasing the nozzle temperature slightly can facilitate better extrusion, and adjusting the bed temperature can improve first layer adhesion.

Using a Convection Oven for Drying

If ASA or ABS filaments have absorbed moisture, drying them in a convection oven at a low temperature (around 40-45°C) for several hours can restore their printing qualities. It’s crucial to monitor this process closely to avoid warping or damaging the filament.

Testing with Small Prints

Before committing to large printing projects with filaments that have been stored improperly, conduct small test prints. These tests can help identify any printing issues related to the filament’s condition and allow for adjustments in print settings or further filament treatment.

Layer Adhesion Techniques

Improving layer adhesion can be critical for filaments affected by storage issues. Techniques such as using a brim or raft, adjusting the part cooling fan speed, and ensuring the printing bed is level and clean can enhance layer adhesion.

Ensuring Filament Quality for Optimal 3D Printing Results

In conclusion, proper storage and handling of Polylite ASA and ABS filaments are paramount for any 3D printing enthusiast or professional. By following these guidelines, users can ensure their filaments remain in top condition, leading to high-quality prints. At Unique Prints, we encourage our readers to share their experiences or questions regarding filament storage and handling. Feel free to leave feedback and reach out for any specific queries. Remember, the right care and attention to your 3D printing materials can significantly enhance your printing projects.

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About the Author: Unique Prints Shop

When we bought our first off the shelf 3D Printer in 2019, like many others, it wasn’t without its shortfalls. While being a great machine to begin our 3D printing journey on, it required immediate fixes and several replacement parts to be its best. Then we discovered the Voron!… A do-it-yourself, source-it-yourself, spaceship of a printer designed by the team at Voron Design for the hobbyist and enthusiast. Learn More