Re: ABS and FDM

From: Eric Lavoie (
Date: Thu May 01 1997 - 16:27:33 EEST

On May 1, 4:25am, Peter Sullivan wrote:
> Subject: ABS and FDM
> A recent post here suggested that for ABS as a modelling material, FDM
> was the only or best way to go. As an outside but interested observer
> of the RP industry, I have a few questions about this.
> 1) Why is it so difficult for other processes to use ABS or an
> equivalent material, or is it that they just don't yet?
> 2) In what types of applications is ABS critical ?
> 3) When/if will other processes (LOM SLA etc.) be able to use ABS or
> equivalent ?
> Peter Sullivan
>-- End of excerpt from Peter Sullivan


We are currently using a FDM (Stratasys) machine to build ABS part. In our
department -research and developpement in robotics for an electric utility- ABS
is the choice material for RP. We are using it to build real fonctionnal
prototype that we can bring in the field to test with the end user. ABS
provide functionnal parts, solids enough for real life simulation where it will
be handle by linemen, but still pretty cheap and fast enough to be build
overnight. We also use it to build plaster mold to create aluminium parts,
directly as a master in sand casting or to make a polyurethane mold for plastic
parts. Surface finish may not be perfect, but it is more than good enough for
product approval and trial, furthurmore, it can easily be rework afterwards to
improve quality or to add features (tap, thread, etc.). We are currently
trying to add wax as a second material for investment casting, but we did not
have time yet to try it since all of our outside clients prefer to have ABS

I don't really know about the why and the when, but in our case, ABS is the
perfect material.

Eric Lavoie
Institut de recherche d'Hydro-Quebec	
1740 Blv. Lionel Boulet
Varennes, QC, Canada   J3X 1S1
+1 514 652-8836		
fax    652-1319

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