Re: ABS and FDM

From: Guy Allen Brady (
Date: Thu May 01 1997 - 17:48:16 EEST

On Thu, 1 May 1997, Peter Sullivan wrote:

> 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?

You'll be fooling yourself if you think that material selection in RP
processes is like going to Baskin Robbins and choosing an ice cream
flavor - and it won't happen in our lifetime. ABS has particular
properties that allow it to be melted, extruded and resolidified with
relative ease - almost ideal for FDM. You have feedstock that's
ready-made ABS - melt, extrude in a pattern, cool - you still have ABS.
If you want to SLA some ABS, you first have to have a liquid soup of the
building blocks of ABS, and actually make ABS in the vat from uv-curable
components. This is very difficult proposition and takes much dedicated
research by those trained in the art/science of polymer chemistry to

> 2) In what types of applications is ABS critical ?

I'll pass on this one - any ABS customers want to hit this?

> 3) When/if will other processes (LOM SLA etc.) be able to use ABS or
> equivalent ?

Maybe those folks at DuPont or Ciba or Allied Signal have something
cooking in their kitchens?? Most likely they won't talk until they're
ready to introduce product.

As the different RP techniques are maturing, new material choices are
becoming available. I think as the RP field gets the attention of
Materials Engineers (or as Materials Engineers get the attention of the RP
field!) you'll see some interesting innovations.

Ok, I'm done - for now.

          G. Allen Brady -- Graduate Research Assistant
Materials Science and Engineering - The University of Michigan
2219 H.H. Dow Bldg. 2300 Hayward Street Ann Arbor, MI 48105
work: 313/936-0177 fax: 313/747-4807 email:

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