ABS Printing Temperature and Bed Settings

ABS Printing Temperature

ABS plastic, which stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is a type of plastic that lacks a definite shape and is made from a combination of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. It is a widely used material in 3D printing because it has a good balance of mechanical properties and is relatively inexpensive. Additionally, ABS is available in various colors and is also recyclable.

Typically, ABS is a rigid material with some toughness or resistance to impact. When the right printing conditions, such as heat, are applied, ABS can be relatively easy to print. However, it can warp or crack if printed in an uncontrolled environment. ABS has moderate resistance to chemicals and temperature.

ABS glass transition temperature stands at 90° -100°C, meaning it becomes soft and pliable at that point.

Regrettably, printing with ABS can be somewhat challenging. Some problems you might encounter during printing include poor bed adhesion, warping of printed parts at their edges and corners, and unpleasant fumes that arise during printing. However, we will discuss all of these issues in more detail shortly.

This article will provide essential information to consider when printing with ABS, focusing on the temperatures required to achieve optimal results. Although we will discuss general settings, it is advisable to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for more specific instructions.

ABS Nozzle Temperature 

When using FDM 3D printing, one of the critical factors to consider is the nozzle temperature (sometimes referred to as extruder or extrusion temperature), which relates to the amount of heat produced by the printer’s hotend.

The hotend must heat the tip of the solid filament strand until it is malleable enough to be forced through the nozzle and onto the print bed. Some filaments, such as PEEK, require extremely high temperatures (up to 300°C) to melt, while simpler materials like PLA need lower temperatures.

ABS does not require specialist high-temperature equipment but requires a higher nozzle temperature than PLA due to its high temperature resistance. Using PLA nozzle settings (around 210°C) on ABS would lead to issues such as poor layer adhesion, where the individual layers of the printed part fail to bond.

For 3D printing with ABS, the optimal nozzle temperature for the material is typically between 220-250°C. Some researchers have suggested that 231°C is the ideal temperature for the highest tensile properties. This slightly higher temperature, similar to the perfect PETG temperature, enhances the adhesion between the first and interlayers in ABS parts.

However, selecting the exact temperature within this range may require trial and error since FDM hardware can differ from one model to another, producing different results.

When using a non-standard nozzle, the usual ABS print temperature settings may need to be slightly adjusted. Nozzles with a larger diameter than the standard 0.4 mm usually require a higher temperature to heat the enormous amount of plastic passing through. In contrast, smaller-diameter nozzles can extrude ABS at slightly lower temperatures.

ABS Bed Temperature 

ABS 3D printing requires more than just a specific nozzle temperature. While using a nozzle temperature of 220-250°C is essential for the extrusion process, other factors like bed adhesion, shrinkage, and warping can impact the overall quality of the print. To prevent these issues, a heated build platform is recommended.

A heated bed promotes good first-layer adhesion and helps reduce temperature differences between the hotend and the bed. ABS material benefits from a heated bed, with the ideal bed temperature ranging from 95-110°C.

Choosing the right build surface material is also crucial for optimal adhesion. Coating the print surface with ABS juice, a mixture of ABS filament and acetone, effectively enhances bed adhesion. This mixture is also called ABS slurry when a higher concentration of ABS is used. Other options for improving adhesion include using glue sticks, hairspray, or Kapton tape.

ABS Enclousore Temperature 

Some 3D printers can control a third print temperature parameter, the enclosure temperature, but this feature does not apply to open-design FDM printers. Enclosed printers offer an advantage when printing ABS as they maintain a consistent printing environment by keeping out cold air and drafts while keeping the air temperature at around 30 °C or higher. This helps to improve inter-layer adhesion and reduces the risk of shrinkage and warping.

While many printers have built-in enclosures, it is also possible to construct a DIY enclosure for open-design machines. It should be noted that controlling the exact ambient temperature within the enclosure can be difficult, and users should avoid overheating.

For a more advanced solution, printers with a heated build chamber contain thermal regulation equipment to maintain the build area at a precise temperature. This feature is handy for printing high-performance materials that require very high print temperatures. Although not needed for printing ABS, a heated build chamber can be set to temperatures around 60–70 °C.

Other Important Things To Take Care of 

Warping is A Significant Issue

As the filament is heated in the hot end, it tends to expand. Once melted, the plastic is deposited onto the build platform one layer at a time. As it cools, it solidifies and contracts. However, some plastics tend to expand and contract more than others. Except for the most recently deposited layer, the layers above the build surface will be cooler than those closest to the surface. The surface layers are typically kept warm to maintain bed adhesion.

The difference in temperature between the cooler, contracting layers and the still warm, expanded layers against the surface can cause a print to peel off the plate. This is similar to setting a sponge on a table and pinching it at the top: the bottom edges will rise up towards the point of the pinch.

Warping is a common issue with ABS and nylon filaments due to their higher tendency to expand and contract than regular PLA.

Heater Settings 

Printing with ABS can be a difficult task, but with the right settings, it can be made much more accessible. This section will explore how to fine-tune your heaters to achieve optimal ABS prints.

Hot End

The melting point of ABS falls between 210 and 250 °C, and unless instructed otherwise by the manufacturer, you are free to experiment with temperature settings within this range. We suggest starting with 235 °C as a good starting point. If the nozzle temperature is set too high, you may notice an excess of strings between the walls of your print.

On the other hand, setting the temperature too low may lead to under-extrusion. Printing a few test models with different temperature settings is always helpful.

Heated Bed

The primary function of a heated bed is to enhance adhesion between the print bed and the plastic filament. However, there is a balance between setting the temperature high enough for good adhesion and keeping it low enough to avoid warping.

The glass transition temperature (Tg) is when plastic changes from a solid to a more rubbery state (but not melted). It is recommended to set the heated bed temperature slightly above the Tg.

Going too high above this temperature will result in a more significant temperature gradient, and going too low will not offer improved bed adhesion. The glass transition temperature for ABS is 105 °C, so a heated bed temperature of 110 °C should suffice.


When printing with ABS, it is essential to note that it emits fumes and strong odors, which can be harmful. For safety reasons, placing the 3D printer in a well-ventilated area is advisable. However, users should also consider the potential for cold air drafts that could warp the printed part and strike a balance between ventilation and temperature control.

Build Surface 

To print ABS successfully, it’s essential to have a heated bed and build surface that provides sufficient adhesion, such as a PEI sheet. Another option is to coat a glass build surface with ABS juice, ABS slurry, glue stick, or other adhesives.


The cooling mechanism of a 3D printer is closely linked to the printing temperature. It involves a cooling fan that helps the plastic to solidify quickly by reducing the temperature around the part. When it comes to printing with ABS, a cooling fan is generally not necessary. Therefore, users can set the fan speed to a low setting or turn it off altogether.

The Conclusion 

In conclusion, finding the right ABS printing temperature and bed settings is essential for successful ABS 3D printing. While ABS may present some challenges, it can be an excellent material for producing durable and functional parts. Users can optimize their ABS prints and achieve high-quality results using the guidelines outlined in this article. Experiment with different settings and techniques to find what works best for your specific printer and project.

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