ABS used to be the most popular 3D printing material before PLA, so I wondered what the best printing speed and temperature would be for ABS filament.
The best speed & temperature for ABS depends on what type of ABS you are using and what 3D printer you have, but generally, you want to use a speed of 50mm/s, a nozzle temperature of 240°C and a heated bed temperature of 80°C. Brands of ABS have their recommended temperature settings on the spool.
That’s the basic answer that will set you up for success, but there are more details that you’ll want to know to get the perfect printing speed and temperature for ABS.
What is the Best Printing Speed for ABS?
The best printing speed for ABS filament falls between 30-70mm/s for standard 3D printers. With a well-tuned 3D printer that has good stability, you may be able to 3D print at a faster rate without reducing quality so much. It’s a good idea to print a calibration tower for speed so you can see differences in quality.
The default printing speed in Cura, the most popular slicer is 50mm/s, which should work pretty well for ABS filament. You can adjust the print speed up or down depending on what kind of quality you desire.
Generally, the slower you print, the better the quality, while the faster you print, the lesser the quality will be. Some 3D printers are designed to 3D print at much faster rates like Delta 3D printers, which can easily reach 150mm/s, but for most you’ll want to keep it in the 30-70mm/s range.
There are different speeds within the general print speed such as:
- Infill Speed
- Wall Speed (Outer Wall & Inner Wall)
- Top/Bottom Speed
- Initial Layer Speed
The default values in Cura should give you pretty good results but you can adjust these speeds to give faster printing times.
Since your Infill Speed is the inner material of your 3D print, this is usually set to be the same as your main Print Speed, at 50mm/s.
The Wall Speed, Top/Bottom Speed & Initial Layer Speed should be lower since they account for the main surface quality and build plate adhesion. They are usually formulated to be 50% of the Print Speed, while the Initial Layer Speed is set to be 20mm/s.
You can check out my more detailed Guide on 3D Printing ABS.
What is the Best Printing Temperature for ABS?
The best nozzle temperature for ABS ranges anywhere between 210-265°C depending on the brand of filament you have, plus your specific 3D printer and setup. For SUNLU ABS, they recommend a printing temperature of 230-240°C. HATCHBOX PETG recommends a printing temperature of 210-240°C. For OVERTURE ABS, 245-265°C.
Most people usually have the best results with a temperature of 240-250°C when looking at most people’s settings, but it does depend on the temperature of the environment around you, the accuracy of your thermistor recording the temperature and other factors.
Even the specific 3D printer you have may slightly alter the best printing temperature for ABS. Brands definitely differ in what temperature works best so it’s a good idea to find out what personally works for your situation.
You can print something called a Temperature Tower. This is basically a tower that prints towers at different temperatures as it moves up the tower.
Check out the video below on how you can do this for yourself directly in Cura.
You can also choose to download your own model outside of Cura if you use another slicer by downloading this Temperature Calibration Tower from Thingiverse.
Whether you have an Ender 3 Pro or V2, your printing temperature should be mentioned by the filament manufacturer on the side of the spool or packaging, then you can test the perfect temperature by using a temperature tower.
Do keep in mind though, stock PTFE tubes that come with a 3D printer usually have a peak heat resistance of around 250°C, so I’d recommend upgrading to a Capricorn PTFE Tube for better heat resistance of up to 260°C.
It’s also great for solving filament feeding and retraction issues.
What is the Best Print Bed Temperature for ABS?
The best print bed temperature for ABS is between 70-100°C, with the optimal build plate temperature being 75-85°C for most brands. PETG has a glass transition temperature of 100°C which is the temperature it softens at. OVERTURE ABS recommends a bed temperature of 80-100°C, while SUNLU ABS recommends 70-85°C.
You’ll usually have a range because 3D printers aren’t all built the same and the environment you are printing in makes a difference. If you are 3D printing in a fairly cold garage, you’ll want to use the higher end of the bed temperature while using an enclosure.
If you are 3D printing in a warm office, you’ll probably be okay with a bed temperature of 70-80°C. I’d follow the recommended temperature for your specific brand and see what works best with a few trials.
Some users say they get fantastic ABS prints at 100°C, and some lower, so it really depends on your specific setup.
What is the Best Ambient Temperature for 3D Printing ABS?
The best ambient temperature for ABS is somewhere between 15-32°C (60-90°F). The main thing to keep in mind is to not have too much of a temperature fluctuation during the 3D printing process. In cooler rooms, you might want to slightly increase your hotend temperature, then in hotter rooms slightly decrease it.
What is the Best Fan Speed for ABS?
The best fan speed for ABS is usually 0-30% but you can increase this for bridging, up to 60-75% or so. Some people have issues with layer adhesion when turning on the cooling fans, so I’d start with using no fans and possibly bring them in for overhangs and bridges. Some people use 25% and 60% with good results.
ABS is known to warp due to temperature changes so you have to be careful with using a fan. You want to have the fan off for the first few layers, using the Cura setting of “Regular Fan Speed at Layer”, being 4 at default.
You can create a specific profile for your ABS 3D prints and save that as a custom profile, each time you want to 3D print ABS.
Some people get good results without a fan, but it seems that most people get better results with the fans running at a low percentage. You want to control the level of shrinkage by having a decent control on the temperature.
You can choose to slightly increase the printing temperature if you are having issues.
If you are 3D printing in an environment which is pretty cold, the fans may blow cooler air onto the 3D print which could create printing issues. As long as the fan isn’t blowing air that’s too cool, cooling fans on a low setting should print just fine.
Check out my article about whether you Can 3D Print in a Cold or Hot Room for more information.
What is the Best Layer Height for ABS?
The best layer height for ABS with a 0.4mm nozzle, is anywhere between 0.12-0.28mm depending on what kind of quality you are after. For high quality models with a lot of detail, a 0.12mm layer height is possible, while quicker & stronger prints can be done at 0.2-0.28mm.
0.2mm is the standard layer height for 3D printing in general because it’s a great balance of quality and print speed. The lower your layer height, the better your quality will be, but it increases the number of overall layers which increases the overall print time.
Depending on what your project is, you may not care about the quality so using a layer height like 0.28mm and above would work great. For other models where you care about the surface quality, a layer height of 0.12mm or 0.16mm is ideal.