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What is ASA filament

ASA is a material that is primarily intended for outdoor application owing to its excellent UV resistance and superior impact resistance properties. 

ASA or Acrylic Styrene Acrylonitrile is an alternative to ABS material. ASA has similar properties to ABS, albeit with minor improvements in toughness, heat, and UV resistance. It’s used for printing functional components that will be subjected to harsh weather conditions, and it can handle temperatures of well above 100 °C and still retain its shape. However, ASA as a material is equally tricky to 3D print and needs strictly controlled printing conditions. Nonetheless, it is ideal for outdoor situations where material strength and durability are the primary factors. 

The Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Excellent UV resistance
  • High impact resistance
  • Smooth surface finish
  • Easy to post-process 
  • Melts at high temperatures

Cons:

  • Prone to warping
  • Layer adhesion issues 
  • Emits toxic fumes 
  • High-extruder and bed temperatures. 

Hardware Requirements

ASA is a high-temperature plastic, and you will need a metal extruder to print ASA effectively. An enclosed build chamber will help maintain a stable printing temperature. And a ventilation system will filter out any harmful fumes. 

 

  • Hot end temperature: 240 to 260 °C 
  • Bed Temperature: 90- 110 °C
  • Bed adhesion: ABS slurry, Kapton tape, PVA glue stick 

Best Practices to 3D print ASA

ASA is prone to warping, and hence you will need excellent bed adhesion to prevent this issue. A print bed with Kapton tape is an ideal build surface for printing with ASA. It will help dissipate the heat evenly and allow the ASA material to stick to the print bed easily. Alternatively, you can use ABS slurry mixed with some glue on the print bed for easy bed adhesion.

ASA is a high-temperature 3D printing material. It needs to be printed at above 230 °C for easy printing and a high-quality surface finish. However, too much high-temperatures might lead to overheating issues, resulting in significant temperature differences from the bottom to the top of the print. To prevent this, you can set a high value for the bottom layers and gradually decrease the temperature as the print height increases. It will help you with bed adhesion for the initial layers and prevent any warping or layer adhesion issues in the upper sections of the print. 

Like ABS, ASA suffers from layer adhesion and peeling issues, and it needs to cool down gradually to prevent these issues. Keeping the cooling fan at 100% for the print will induce temperature differences and abruptly cool the layers, thus leading to warping and layer separation. Switching OFF the cooling fan will allow the layers to cool down slowly and uniformly, resulting in better print quality. If your print has bridges and overhangs at a 5-10% speed, it will yield good quality results. 

Pro Tips

  • Post-process

    ASA dissolves in Acetone. You can use this property to easily post-process your ASA prints with acetone and achieve a smooth surface finish.

  • Air Filter

    ASA emits harmful 3D printer fumes. You need to use an air filter or print in a well-ventilated area to negate the effects of printing with ASA.

  • HIPS

    You can use HIPS with ASA for dissolvable support. It will let you print complicated designs with ease.

Get Started with ASA

ASA applications:

  • Outdoor signages 
  • Automotive components 
  • Electrical housings

ASA projects : 

ASA Filament FAQs

ASA filament has excellent UV resistance and does not degrade much even after prolonged exposure to the sun. It has better impact resistance and a slightly higher melting temperature than ABS.

ASA has a tensile strength of 35.0 - 50.5 MPa and flexural strength of 38.6 - 78.6 MPa. Its glass transition temperature is ≅ 112 °C. It is strong enough for use in end components subjected to medium loads considering these parameters.

ASA filament is suitable for outdoor applications subjected to harsh weather conditions. 

You can buy ASA filament directly via Amazon or from local resellers.

No. ASA is not a flexible filament. 

Use a food dehydrator or a filament dryer for the best results while drying the ASA filament.  

ASA emits harmful 3D printer fumes that are toxic. Hence you need to print it in a well-ventilated area. 

If you store it properly, a spool of ASA filament can last for two or more years.

Yes. ASA filament smells and may induce headaches and nausea.