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I feel like I’ve tried everything. I’ve had an Ender 3 for seven months now printing in PLA.

I’ve modded it plenty including BLTouch. I’m now doing a project that really requires ABS so I have the white hatch box ABS. It wasn’t sticking at first but I got that well under control with glue tape and proper leveling with an enclosure. And I’m assuming this is important. I do indeed have an enclosure. Anyone I’m printing this part that has two long but thin-sideways protrusions coming out. Each one keeps de-laying at two specific points. I’ve tried everything including temperature and everything in Cura settings. I’m up to four failed prints now. I also tried other prints with the ABS and they also delayered in specific spots over and over.

Please help I’m close to completely giving up on my projects. The de-layerings are all the same with this one being the worse of them.

Photo of print

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you show some photos of how it's delayering, and what the model is supposed to print like? $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Jun 21 '19 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ Also, not related to answering the question, but are you sure you need ABS? I've managed to avoid ABS entirely because I don't want to deal with fumes or enclosures. PETG is a suitable replacement for ABS in lots of applications and much easier to print with. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Jun 21 '19 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ It has to hold under load 18650 batteries so it has to be this or Petg. I don’t currently have any and I would really rather fix the issue just for quality assurance sake. I added a photo of the latest and worse delayering in the main problem post. $\endgroup$ – Fox_89 Jun 21 '19 at 3:00
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    $\begingroup$ This appears to be caused by the printed part shrinking, as it gets further and further away from the heated bed. Can you actively heat your enclosure? That should help, even though I too have managed to avoid ABS so far. $\endgroup$ – towe Jun 21 '19 at 9:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Fox_89: I'd still just go with PETG for this. I know it's not an answer to your question and that there should be one, but the more I see about ABS printing problems, the more I think "this is just not a material you want to be using for 3d printing unless there's no alternative". I picked up some PETG with the intent to use it for replacing broken interior car trim parts, and I'm really happy with how it prints. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Jun 21 '19 at 15:12
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Welcome Fox_89 to the SE 3D Printing site. Thank you for bringing your question, and I hope you contribute both questions and answers in the years ahead.

I understand that you've tried everything, so I have nothing new to suggest.

Never the less, I would suggest some possibilities, perhaps one of which you haven't yet tried:

  • Extrude hotter filament. Increase the nozzle temperature. My printer (Pruse3D i3m3s) prints ABS at 255 degrees C. Give the layers a better chance to melt together.
  • Print slower, so that the layers have a longer time to melt together, and they have a longer time to cool before the next layer reheats them.
  • Use a cooling fan to bring the part to equilibrium more quickly.
  • Try a different filament. Not all filaments have the same shrinkage. Hatchbox has worked pretty well for me, but try another manufacturer. Try another color, like transparent. White can be a difficult color because it must carry a high pigment load. Black can carry less pigment, and might be easier to print. "Transparent" or "natural" carries no pigment.
  • Check for anything that might increase the strain on the part at that layer. It could be a geometry change on the other side of the part, since that changes the thermal profile of the whole layer.
  • Must it be ABS? PETG has a higher working temperature than PLA, but will print differently than ABS.
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I'd second printing slow and near as hot as your filament can stand and still hold shapes in test runs.

Extruding thin has worked well for me in cases with ABS pull/shrinkage. I've also had luck heating up the environment my printer is in. ABS stays gummy above 105C (its Tg is around there), so I've had good luck running my deck at 105C, and either setting up my print so that parts that were likely to have problems are close to the heat element (on my Ender 3 it's the ~5cm in the center of the plate) or using other external heat (with no fan). [Note to people who might want to try external heat: ABS is flammable - stick with other methods unless you feel sure you understand the safety factors.]

ABS grinds down nicely - if it's feasible, consider making these parts thicker/adding a raft on a super hot deck, so you can print much hotter, then sanding to your desired shape.

Lastly, and least elegantly: I'm not sure if this is possible - depends on the exact project - but you might think about ways to print these parts separately (close to the hot deck) for connection post-printing. ABS is acetone-soluble, so it's pretty straight-forward to melt some spare bits, and voilà: glue.

Good luck! ABS is a pretty sweet polymer - don't give up on that project just yet!

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