6 Ways To Fix ABS Prints Not Sticking To Bed & Increase Adhesion 

ABS is a widely used 3D printing filament that is highly stubborn and many 3D users struggle because of ABS not sticking to bed. To fix this problem, one needs to understand the characteristics of ABS. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss some ways to make ABS prints stick to the bed.

Whenever you see a problem with ABS won’t stick to the bed, increase the print bed temperature and use adhesives. When the nozzle and bed temperature is high, it sets a great combination for the ABS initial layers to stick to the bed firmly. 

That is a preliminary troubleshooting step, of course, there are many other methods to fix ABS not sticking to glass bed as below: 

How To Get ABS To Stick To Print Bed?

ABS is abbreviated as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene thermoplastic material and the parts made from ABS are used in many applications. 

ABS is known for its strength and high-temperature resistance and thus it is widely used. 

ABS parts are very strong and hence they are used in applications that can handle loads. On the other hand, ABS prints exhibit a smooth exterior finish and add charm to the print. ABS print not sticking to the bed often occurs due to its high strength. 

Thus the first layer of ABS is highly important and it has to stick to the bed strongly. Otherwise, the 3D print will get failed and efforts will get ruined

There are some steps/methods to fix the problem of ABS not sticking to bed/glass bed as below:

  • Set sufficient bed/nozzle temperature 
  • Reduce the Printing speed 
  • Keep the full flow rate 
  • Make use of bed adhesives 
  • Set the right speed and height of the first layer
  • Switch off the cooling fan during the first few layers printing.

Set Sufficient Bed/Nozzle Temperature 

Temperature plays a major role in 3D printing. Improper temperature settings can lead to printing failure and low-quality print output. 

When the filament reaches the glass transition temperature, it is fully melted and ready for extrusion through the nozzle pathway. 

Extruder settings also play a major role and need to be set correctly. A combination of the right temperature and accurate extruder settings can enable flawless ABS printing. 

For ABS to stick to the bed properly and prevent warping 

  • Keep the bed temperature values of 100-100DegC which is above its glass transition temperature. 
  • Increase the nozzle / hot end temperature so that ABS is fully melted and ensures a good flow rate. 
  • Keep the nozzle temperature above 240DegC

Reduce the Printing speed 

Printing speed is the next factor to be checked in case of ABS not sticking to the print bed. Reduce the print speed if it is high and this allows the filament to interact with high temperatures for some time.

Slow printing speed makes the ABS filament fully melt and flow easily through the nozzle. Remember, too much reduction of the printing speed can induce negative print results. 

  • Use the slow printing speed of 30mm/s for the initial 5 to 10 layers. Switch off the cooling fans during these initial layers. 
  • For ABS the normal printing speed varies between 50mm/s to 60mm/s 

Increase Flow Rate

Flow Rate is often neglected by many 3D users but it has a big impact on ABS sticking to the bed or not. If you’ve increased the nozzle/bed temperature and reduced the print speed and it hasn’t worked, then the flow rate needs to be increased. Increased flow rate makes the ABS stick better to the glass bed.

The flow rate can be adjusted in the slicer so that more filament comes out from the nozzle. The default value is 100% in the slicer, but it can be increased for higher flow rates. 

The thicker the first layers, the better is the foundation. Also, thicker layers will get cooled slowly and increase the adhesion with the print bed. It also prevents warping. 

Make Use of Bed Adhesives 

Usage of bed adhesives is a common method to increase the adhesion of ABS prints with a print bed. One of the adhesives is called ABS slurry which is a mixture of ABS filament and Acetone that can be used as a paste. 

This adhesive is highly effective for ABS prints and greatly improves the bonding between the bed and print object. 

Please note that ABS slurry smells bad when heated on the print bed. Glue Sticks on the other hand could also be a great print bed adhesive for ABS. 

Boost Up the First Layer Width and Height 

The first layer plays a significant role in ABS sticking to the print bed. If the first layer sticks well, then the print success is set. Thus the height and width of the first layer determine whether your ABS print sticks to the bed or not. 

When the first layer is laid over a larger surface area, then it offers a strong foundation as it is spread a little wider. 

  • Always keep the “Initial Layer Height” high because this can lay a strong foundation for the first layer. 
  • Keep the “Initial Layer Line Width” also as high to make ABS stick to the bed better.

Switch Off The Cooling Fan During The First Few Layers

When printing with ABS, the proper usage of the cooling fan is important. While printing the first few layers, the cooling fan needs to be switched off completely. This is because ABS needs time to solidify and stick to the print bed properly. If cooling is fast, then ABS has a high probability to get unstuck from the bed or getting warped.

  • Keep the fan turned off during the initial 4 to 6 layers. 

Best Bed & Nozzle Temperature for ABS

ABS filament demands a higher nozzle temperature to melt completely. The recommended nozzle temperature range for ABS is 210-250 DegC. Always look for the specifications of the ABS filament manufacturer and set the values accordingly. 

You can print the Smart Compact Temperature Calibration Tower from Thingiverse, this allows you to test various parameters such as stringing, overhangs, curvy shapes. etc

Start doing trials from low temperatures and keep increasing the temperature by small values. Stop at the point when you see the better print quality. 

The recommended bed temperature to make ABS stick to the bed completely is 100 to 110DegC. 

Can You Print ABS on an Aluminium Bed?

Printing ABS on the aluminum bed can be done with associated risks. When the aluminum bed is heated, it expands and creates an imbalance in the bed level. 

May 3D experts suggest using a glass plate on the aluminum bed as it saves you from expansion problems. On the other hand, using the glass plate makes the object’s base smoother. 

How To Prevent Warping Of ABS Prints?

Warping is a great problem when printing stubborn filaments like ABS. The corners of the print get peeled off from the bed as they get cooled. 

Follow the below steps to prevent ABS warping:

  • Use an enclosure and keep the internal temperature constant and warm. 
  • Keep the print bed temperature as high as 110DegC 
  • Use bed adhesives such as glue sticks, hairsprays, ABS slurry. etc 
  • Ensure that the print bed is leveled properly 
  • Keep the cooling fan off during the first few layers 
  • Leverage raft or a brim 
Bheema Shankar
Author | Website

I am Bheema Shankar. I have worked on SLS, CJP, DLP, SLA and FDM technologies at Think3D. Currently working as Process and application engineer at VEER-O-METALS PRIVATE LIMITED. I am always fascinated by the process of creating things layer by layer. This fascination led me to pursue a career in 3D printing technology. I am passionate about how 3D works and enjoy exploring new ways to improve the 3D printing process.

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