Acrylic styrene-acrylonitrile, more commonly known as ASA, is a common alternative to ABS. It was originally developed to have a higher resistance to UV light than ABS, although it also offers increased temperature resistance. ASA retains ABS’s high impact resistance but is harder to print.
ASA is generally used to print items intended for outdoor usage due to its strong UV resistance and ability to weather harsh environmental conditions. It is, unfortunately, very prone to warping and gives off dangerous fumes when printed.
- Bed Temperature: 90-110 °C
- Heated Bed Required
- Build Surface: PET sheets, Kapton tape, ABS/ASA Slurry
- Extruder: Temperature 220-245 °C
Best Practices and Tips
Kapton tape or PET sheets are generally considered the best surfaces for print bed adhesion. PET sheets are smooth, allowing the underside of the print to have a smooth finish.
The high-temperature requirements for printing ASA can lead to overheating. You can often reduce overheating by printing the first few layers at a high temperature, then dropping 5°C for the rest of the print. This strategy takes advantage of the high-temperature adhesion benefit for the base, then reduces the chance of overheating. You can often reduce the print temperature by another 5 or even 10°C if you’re still struggling with overheating.
If you’re still struggling with overheating, you can try activating the part cooling on low speeds of around 10 to 25%. This low speed helps to offer some extra cooling while not inducing too much warping. We highly recommend that you only enable this for higher layers.
As with ABS, HIPS is compatible with ASA as a dissolvable support material.
ASA gives off dangerous fumes when it is printed due to the presence of styrene. Make sure you print in an area with adequate ventilation.
- Strong UV resistance
- High impact and wear resistance
- High glass transition temperature
- Requires high extruder temperatures
- Requires proper ventilation due to dangerous fumes
This information should give you a great starting point for ASA printing. Have you got any specific projects you’re planning to use ASA for? Let us know down below.