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What is ASA Filament?

ASA, or Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate, is a type of thermoplastic filament that is becoming increasingly popular among 3D printing enthusiasts and professionals. It is known for its excellent weather resistance and UV stability, making it a great choice for outdoor applications. In this blog post, we will explore the properties and benefits of ASA filament, as well as its potential drawbacks, so you can decide if it's the right choice for your next 3D printing project

Our ASA Filament

One of the biggest advantages of ASA filament is its excellent weather resistance. Unlike ABS, which is prone to discoloration and cracking when exposed to the elements. Compared to ABS, ASA can on average withstand slightly high temperatures, humidity, and UV light without losing its mechanical properties. This makes it a great choice for creating outdoor objects, such as lawn decorations, planters, and even small playground equipment or tool accessories.

Features and Benefits of ASA Filament

Another benefit of ASA filament is its UV stability. When exposed to sunlight, ABS can become brittle and yellow over time, which can negatively impact the aesthetics and performance of the final print. ASA, on the other hand, maintains its color and strength even after prolonged exposure to UV light, making it a great choice for creating parts that will be used outdoors.

ASA also has good impact resistance and is relatively stiff. This makes it a great choice for applications that require a lot of mechanical strength, such as gears, bearings, and other small mechanical parts.

It is also important to note that ASA can be printed with or without a heated bed, but when it comes to outdoor applications, a heated bed is highly recommended to help prevent warping. Additionally, a cooling fan can help to improve the quality of the final print depending on print speed, hotend temperature and ambient temperature.

On the downside, ASA is not as flexible as other materials such as TPU or TPE, so it may not be the best choice for applications that require a lot of flexibility. Furthermore, ASA is more expensive than ABS and is not as widely available, which can be a challenge for those on a budget or who are looking for a more accessible material.

Why Choose ASA Filament?

In conclusion, ASA filament is an excellent choice for 3D printing projects that will be exposed to the elements or UV light, thanks to its excellent weather resistance and UV stability. Its strength, stiffness, and easy printing characteristics make it a great choice for beginners and professionals alike.

Top-Quality ASA Filament Options for Durable 3D Printing Results

Exploring durable solutions for outdoor or high-stress 3D printing projects? ASA filament promises weather resistance, toughness, and UV protection to meet these challenges. This guide unboxes its robust qualities, pits ASA against other filaments, and offers tips for best printing practices while hinting at its versatile applications - without overwhelming details or a sales pitch.

Key Takeaways:

  • ASA filament boasts superior weather, UV, and chemical resistance compared to other plastics like ABS, making it ideal for outdoor 3D printing applications.
  • Optimal printing with ASA requires specific techniques to prevent warping and ensure strong adhesion, such as using heated beds, enclosures, and adhesion promoters like Magigoo.
  • ASA’s robust properties are leveraged in a wide range of industries, notably outdoor equipment and aerospace, for manufacturing durable parts; sustainability concerns are present due to its petroleum-based nature.

Understanding ASA Filament: The Robust Material for Outdoor 3D Printing

ASA, or Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate, is a type of thermoplastic filament, widely recognized for its excellent weather resistance and UV stability. Unlike other filaments such as PLA or PETG, ASA doesn’t lose its mechanical properties when exposed to the elements. It’s as if this filament was tailor-made for the great outdoors.

But the benefits of ASA go beyond just weather and UV resistance. This filament also offers high chemical resistance, making it impervious to substances like lubricating oils and weak acids. Combine this with high impact resistance and water resistance, and you’ve got a filament that’s well-equipped to handle harsh outdoor environments. But how does ASA achieve this exceptional durability?

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The Science Behind ASA's Durability

ASA filament owes its robustness to a chemical composition similar to ABS plastic. The inclusion of slightly crosslinked acrylate rubber particles enhances its strength and UV stability. This makes ASA filament about ten times more resistant to weathering and UV radiation than ABS, resulting in higher tensile strength and better inter-layer adhesion.

Apart from superior UV resistance, ASA resins also exhibit lower molding shrinkage and a lower glass transition temperature than ABS. This provides better low-temperature properties and precision, along with high toughness and a higher resistance to environmental stress cracking without significant yellowing.

But how does ASA compare directly to ABS?

Comparing ASA with ABS

When it comes to outdoor applications, ASA filament outperforms ABS in several key areas. Notably, ASA has improved UV resistance and superior weatherability, making it more suitable for long-term exposure to outdoor environments.

Even though ASA filament is often more expensive than ABS, its long-term durability justifies the cost. With ASA, there’s less need for replacement or maintenance, making it a more cost-effective choice for outdoor projects.

Now that we know what makes ASA filament exceptional, let’s look at how to make the most of it in your 3D printing projects.


Mastering the Use of ASA Filament: Tips and Techniques

Achieving optimal results with ASA filament requires a bit of know-how. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • The recommended printing temperature for ASA is typically between 240°C and 260°C

  • The heated bed should be set at 80°C to 100°C
  • It’s essential to start at the midpoint of the manufacturer’s suggested settings and adjust as necessary

Another useful tip is to turn off the part cooling fan during printing, which can help prevent curling and warping of the material. It’s also advisable to pre-heat the build plate to 80°C at least 10 minutes before printing to ensure the bed is evenly heated, making it easier to handle the filaments.

But remember, every 3D printer is unique, and your settings might need to be adjusted to meet the specific needs of ASA filaments. Regular maintenance of the extruder and nozzle, especially when changing filaments, is also crucial to avoid blockages. Now let’s dig deeper into some specific techniques for preventing warping and achieving perfect adhesion.

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Preventing Warping: Best Practices

Warping is a common challenge in 3D printing, but with the right practices, it can be prevented. Using a heated bed set to around 110°C and an enclosure to maintain consistent temperature is recommended when printing with ASA.

For larger parts, starting prints with a brim of about 15 loops can help in preventing warping, whereas a raft can be beneficial for larger or complex parts without a heated chamber. Lowering the infill percentage can also reduce internal stress within the print, reducing the chance of warping.

Achieving Perfect Adhesion

Just as preventing warping is crucial for a successful print, so too is achieving perfect adhesion. Applying a 3D printing-specific bed adhesive like Magigoo or Stick Stick can enhance first layer stickiness and reduce the risk of warping.

Maintaining an appropriate bed temperature, commonly around 110°C for ASA, along with utilizing dedicated build surfaces like PEI sheets or BuildTak, ensures enhanced adhesion and uniform heat distribution. Adding rafts or brims can provide additional stability, especially for larger or more intricate prints.

Innovative Applications of ASA Filament in Various Industries

ASA filament’s outstanding properties make it a versatile material for various applications. It’s compatible with different manufacturing techniques including extrusion, thermoforming, and injection molding, expanding its potential uses. ASA filament’s compatibility with plastics like PVC and polycarbonate allows its use in custom compounds, further broadening its applicability.

However, it’s in outdoor applications and in industries like aerospace where ASA truly shines. Let’s take a closer look at these innovative applications.

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From Backyards to Playgrounds: ASA in Outdoor Equipment

ASA filament’s UV stability and weather resistance make it an excellent choice for outdoor objects that require longevity and resilience to varying environmental conditions. From garden furniture and planters to lawn decorations, ASA helps these items maintain their integrity and aesthetics over time.

Playground equipment in schools is another area where ASA’s resistance to weather conditions is key for durability and withstanding prolonged sun exposure. But ASA filament’s utility isn’t limited to just the backyard or the playground.

Beyond the Earth: ASA's Role in Aerospace

ASA filament has taken flight in the aerospace industry, producing durable and precise parts for this demanding field. The flexible nature of ASA filament allows for post-processing, often required in aerospace applications, to achieve the desired detail and finish.

Innovative uses of ASA extend to manufacturing 3D printed heat exchangers for rocket engines, showcasing the material’s resilience under extreme conditions. After printing, aerospace parts can be further refined through additional smoothing or painting to meet strict industry standards. Now let’s turn our attention to the aesthetics of ASA filament.

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The Endless Range of ASA Filament Colors and Finishes

ASA filament is available in a variety of colors, including:

  • Black
  • Dark blue
  • White
  • Army Brown
  • Galaxy Black

Despite a somewhat limited colour range compared to other materials like PLA or ABS, the quality of ASA printed objects is often praised, with fewer visible layer lines on the object.

The finishes of ASA filament, from glossy to matte, influence the appearance of prints, allowing users to achieve their desired aesthetic effect. However, the range of special textures or finishes for ASA filament isn’t often highlighted, indicating a lesser diversity in surface finish options compared to filaments like PLA or ABS.

Next, let’s look at how to select the right ASA filament for your 3D printer.

Ensuring Quality: Selecting the Right ASA Filament for Your 3D Printer

Selecting the correct diameter for ASA filament based on the printer’s specifications is imperative for optimal 3D printing results. Consistent filament diameter is crucial for precision, stability of material flow, and achieving detailed final prints.

When selecting ASA filament, consider the manufacturer’s brand reputation and their commitment to quality control. While the cost of ASA filament might be a factor, it’s important to evaluate it based on the price per unit of volume and the overall expenses of the 3D printing process.

But what about the environmental impact of ASA filament compared to PLA filament?

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The Environmental Aspect: ASA Filament and Sustainability

As a petroleum-based plastic, ASA filament contributes to the depletion of non-renewable resources and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Its production is energy-intensive and can result in air and water pollution, negatively affecting local ecosystems. ASA, like ABS, is non-biodegradable, leading to long-term environmental risks in ecosystems if not properly managed. However, sustainability strides are anticipated with the development of greener production methods and an enhanced focus on recycling mechanisms.

Now, let’s explore where to buy ASA filament in Australia.

Shopping Guide: Where to Buy ASA Filament in Australia

For those based in Australia, local manufacturers and online stores like Unique Prints offer a selection of ASA filament. Unique Prints, based in Melbourne, Victoria, provides customers with a wide variety of ASA filament colors, with prices starting at AUD $39.95 Inc GST.


ASA filament is a versatile and durable choice for 3D printing, particularly for outdoor applications. Its unique properties, including UV stability and weather resistance, make it superior to other filaments like PLA or ABS for outdoor use. With careful attention to printer settings and the use of best practices, you can achieve excellent results with ASA filament. Whether you’re creating garden furniture, aerospace parts, or other outdoor items, ASA filament can deliver the resilience and aesthetics you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, ASA filament is stronger than PLA and offers better impact and heat resistance.

ASA filament, like ABS, is prone to warping and emits potentially dangerous fumes during printing due to the presence of Styrene. These factors should be considered before using ASA filament.

In some ways, ASA is easier to print than ABS due to lower warping and fewer fumes, as well as better resistance to water, chemicals, and environmental factors.

Yes, ASA is better than PLA because it can withstand higher levels of stress and impact due to its higher ductility, making it more flexible and durable.

ASA filament is a versatile 3D printing thermoplastic with similar properties to ABS but improved mechanical strength, aesthetics, and UV resistance. Consider using it for a variety of applications.