The new printing materials open up a lot of possibilities and improvements. Today we are going to talk about a new material in 3D printing, the ASA filament.
The ASA filament is a thermoplastic amorphous polymer, consisting of Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate. ASA is a plastic called "engineering plastic", with an exceptional resistance to bad weather. Unlike many plastic materials, ASA keeps its colour and resists the impact, even after a long term outdoor use. The ASA filament is often used for home ceilings, shells for transportation equipment, machinery and electrical equipment when it requires colour persistence and impact resistance.
The acrylate-stirene-acrylonitrile (ASA) was introduced for the first time by BASF around 1970. The intention was to create a material similar to ABS, but with better outdoor conditions resistance. Due to this attribute, it has been used a lot in automotive industry, as well as several outdoor industrial applications.
Thanks to its mechanical properties, ASA filament is the ideal for the first tests before series production, or prototypes, manufacturing tools, including the production of daily use goods that include outdoor use.
The main advantage of this material is its outdoor conditions resistance and the retention of their physical characteristics. For example, the ASA has more rigidity than the ABS and is better in cases of applications of heavy use. It has very low level of yellowing, which makes just have not appearance changes in long term applications.
Another of the advantages is a very good dimensional stability, so we can do parts staying true to the original file, as well as the inclusion of nuts, inserts and machined threads for moderate force screws.
The ASA can be processed by:
- Machining (lathing, milling, drilling and sawing)
- Welding (hot plate, by rotation, and in some cases by ultrasound welding)
- Bonding (the ASA is soluble in methyl etilcetone(MET), dichloroethylene and cyclohexanone)
- Surface treatment (sanding or painting, without special pre-treatment)
Its use in 3D printing is fairly new and currently unknown. We are using it in 3D LimitLess as a permanent substitute of ABS plastic. It has print features similar enough to the ABS (Extrusion between 250 - 255°C and hot bed between 80 - 100°C), with the advantage that 3D prints on clean glass with a light coat of hairspray with hardly any warping (deformation of the corners) even in large parts. If we need to use the layer fan, we recommend doing it very slightly (25-35%) with a print speed up to 80-90mm/s.
The filament comes from the European manufacturer Fillamentum, in rolls of 750grs that you can buy through our website in 8 colours