Creatz3D Fun Fact Series #8 – When to Choose ASA over ABS?

Welcome to another Creatz3D Fun Fact Series!

For today’s Fun Fact, we will be taking a look at the production-grade FDM thermoplastic, ASA, and why it should be considered over the traditional ABS material. If you had missed our earlier fun facts, you can click here.

ABS is one of the most commonly used plastics when it comes to 3D printing because of its good strength properties, low price point, and the relative ease of printing.

Then there is ASA which is similar to ABS, but offers three improvements: better mechanical properties, superior aesthetics (10 colors!), and it’s UV resistant.

The last point especially is important if the part is spending much of its time outdoors and there’s no reason to skimp on that. You only have to see how sunlight fades furniture or pictures to know, how much sunlight makes it indoors and that can be damaging in the long run.

 ASA FDM Material Creatz3D

In a ASA vs ABS test done by UK-based reseller, Trimech, two identical bird houses were 3D printed with ASA (extreme left) and ABS (extreme right). They were then left outdoors for over a year to endure the rough weather conditions.

The photos tell the whole story; the ASA printed birdhouse looks almost like when it was first printed while the ABS model had turned yellow. There is no one filament that fits all applications as each has their own uniqueness. So if you do not require weather resistance, you can choose ABS, or ASA if you require weather resistance.

Need some numbers? Here’s a mechanical properties comparison between ASA and ABS-M30.

* Tests were conducted according to published Stratasys FDM materials testing methods, in compliance with the relevant ASTM standards.

So if you have been typically using ABS as your go-to-material for tried and tested models, you could perhaps consider take a look at 3D printing with ASA instead which might yield better results. Drop us an email if you need some advice on choosing the right material for your application.

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