Tips for Printing ABS

Many users like to print with ABS for its strength and durability.  However, most would agree that it can be a more challenging material than PLA.  If you are having trouble, try the tips below.


Printrbot ABS Config File:

Using a configuration profile is a good way to make sure that all of your settings are dialed.  Use the links below to download the Printrbot approved profile appropriate for your hot end.


Tape and Alcohol

Assuming your probe is calibrated and you are printing slow enough with a sufficient raft (settings in the ABS config files above), the next step to take is getting more "grip" on your print surface.  If you find that the first layer is coming loose when you are printing directly on to Kapton tape, give this a try.  Put down some basic painters tape (Print Bed tape available at and wipe it with common rubbing alcohol.  The tape will provide a more coarse surface and the alcohol will remove oils from that may be preventing strong adhesion.  Tape and alcohol, combined with the proper settings should alleviate any troubles you are still having.



Many users like to mix up an ABS "slurry". 

Recipe: Drop apx 200mm of extruded ABS filament into a jar or squeeze bottle. Add a few ounces of acetone. The acetone will eat away at the filament. You want the slurry to be "milky" or "murky".

The next time you go to print, bring the bed to temp (apx 70-80C). Once the bed is up to temp and you are about to start your print, take a moment to spread the slurry evenly across the plane of the print bed. You can use a paper towel to "paint" the bed. Remember, it's not Windex. You are not wiping the bed clean, but rather adding an even layer of slurry across the bed. This really helps to hold the first layers of ABS down.  





Still having trouble?  Try Hairspray 

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  • 0
    Bart Hickman

    I noticed that the layer thickness in the profile is 0.1984mm.  Why the weird number?  Why not just set it to 0.2mm?

  • 0
    PB Support Team

    Although the difference is negligible between .1984 and .2, the 0.1984 is based off of a calculation from the pitch of the threads on the Z lead screw.  0.2mm will work fine too :).

  • 0
    Florin Andrei

    I have a Printrbot Play with Y Axis Upgrade with Heated Bed. Would the Ubis_13_ABS.ini work for this printer, or is it specific for other printers?

  • 0
    Sam- PB Support Team

    Hello Florin, the ABS.ini will work with all printer using Cura. You will see the settings update when the .ini is loaded. You are able to make a backup of your current settings using the "save profile" option.

    Edited by Sam- PB Support Team
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