ASA is not Film Speed

My current FDM plastic of choice is called ASA. Short for Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate. A bit of a mouthful so using ASA is good!

This is not an EXCLUSIVE choice. I switch often between ASA, ABS, PETG, PLA, PLA+, TPU, TPU+, wood filled PLA, and certainly several others.

Almost the same number of UV resin types as well.

ASA was created as a more UV resistant plastic product than ABS plastic, one of the first used materials for FDM 3D printing. ABS is the stuff from which Leggo’s are created.

The Butadiene rubber in ABS was exchanged for Acrylate rubber. Not only did this make ASA UV resistant, but it improved most all of the durability characteristics. A better printing product than ABS overall.

Of course all these improvements originate down at the Quantun level. Plastic bond strengths are very mysterious and hard for humans to understand.

ASA requires a 250C nozzle temp and bed temperatures at or above 90C. An enclosed printer is not required, but if there is a lot of air movement in the printer location, an enclosed printer may be required. 

This temperature range is at or near the top for PTF nozzles. I am not using an all metal extruder and have not had nozzle or flow problems. I also never let the print head set around at this temperatures without filament flow. 

ASA (and ABS) is about 20% lighter than PLA (poly lactic acid). Many brands offer ASA as 800 gram spools rather than 1000 gram. Filament length is about the same. Some suppliers will state total weight with spool as 1000 grams (300 gram spool) to avoid confusion for buyers who don’t understand the product density difference. It is what it is. No one is being cheated.

There are brands with larger capacity (wider) spools that will contain 1000 grams of product. Buyers be aware. Read the fine print.

ASA will warp like ABS. Not quite as easily. One does have to have excellent bed adhesion. I use plate glass print surface with hair spray with good results. Some prints may require an attached wide brim or printed on a wide raft. 

Practice makes perfect with any 3D FDM material. So I must actually print with ASA if I want to understand it’s possibilities as well as its limitations. Most of my ASA prints are successful on glass, but I have discovered my AnyCubic Vyper coated metal print surface is inadequate for ASA prints. Bummer.

Here is a gallery of the items I have been printing in ASA


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