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How to Print with ASA 3D printing filaments

ASA 3D printer filaments are tremendously under-used by the 3D printing community. 3D printing enthusiasts and masters alike sing praises about ABS, but ASA is basically cut from the same cloth with the added resistance against UV damage and impact. Interested? Here is a brief overview of the engineering ASA filament.

What is ASA 3D printer filament?

As mentioned, ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate) is similar to the more popular ABS. The only difference between them is that ASA creates more durable prints for outdoor use, such as planters, garden gnomes, birdhouse and more. Since it has an industrial-grade composition, ASA is also suitable for automotive applications. Below are the features of the engineering ASA filament:

  • High UV resistance: Prints made with ASA don’t easily deteriorate or experience discolouration from the sun and other harsh environmental elements.
  • High impact and wear resistance: ASA prints can retain their shape and form as time wears on despite putting them under constant stress. It’s strong enough to withstand tough weather conditions.
  • High glass transition temperature: It would have to take scorching heat for the ASA filament to turn soft, which means parts printed with ASA can deal with the heat of automotive motors. That said, it requires higher printing temperatures in order to make it work.
  • Prone to warping: Just like ABS, ASA is also prone to warping, shrinking, and bed adhesion difficulty.
  • Dangerous fumes while printing: ASA has traces of styrene, a dangerous component that emits dangerous fumes. When using this filament, you need to print in a well-ventilated room as well as wear a mask to protect yourself.

ApolloX ASA 3D printer filament

ApolloX is an engineering ASA filament that boasts of high strength and performance. Unlike other ASA filaments, it has been modified to have improved thermal stability and filament flow behaviour. It also has a zero-warping risk and impeccable first and inter-layer adhesion for close to injection molding-looking prints. It is available in two variations: ApolloX 1.75 mm and ApolloX 2.85 mm.

Printing Instruction for the ASA 3D printer filament

Printing specifications

  • Bed temperature: 90-110 °C
  • Extruder temperature: 220-245 °C

Printing tips

  • Ensure that the bed is leveled. You may want to check your 3D printer’s handbook for how to level its bed.
  • Since the ASA has difficulty in adhering to the bed, you would need a layer of Kapton tape, PET sheets, and ABS or ASA slurry on top of the print bed. Ensuring a good bed adhesion will prevent the dreaded warping.
  • Another thing that causes warping is the lack of enclosure. A slight blow of cold wind into the printer could easily cause warping or layer splitting. Invest in a proper enclosure or make your own, just make sure that it bars cold draft from getting in.
  • While each brand of ASA may have its own specific print temperature, the above temperatures are the recommended settings for most brands. It is up to you to experiment on the exact temperature that works best.
  • HIPS serves as a great dissolvable support material for ASA. It can be easily removed by d-limonene.
  • Slow the cooling fans or turn them off entirely. Strong wind from fans can cause warping and splitting.

Post-processing Tips for ASA 3D printer filament

Acetone Vapor

Just like ABS, ASA can also be smoothed with acetone vaporing. You can find the acetone vaporing instructions here.

Order ASA 3D printing filaments today to create high-strength and weather-resistant prints

ASA is the next great big thing to happen to 3D printing technology. If you want to create your own durable and strong ASA prints, you can order a sample pack. You might also get five X3D filaments if you send us a photo of your creation through here.