Do your prints end up looking like this? Would you like to make them look like the second picture? With this Instructable I'll show you how to get your prints to adhere to your print bed firmly with ABS Juice.
When I first started printing, I struggled a lot with warped prints, which on a shared printer equals a lot of frustration. Since I couldn't just print again right away. I had to try and get on the waiting list, wait another week, try to print again and hope for the best. It got to be insanely frustrating. So I started running through all of the online forums trying to up my success rate. ABS Juice was by far most beneficial. However, I couldn't find anywhere that clearly broke down a good formula to use. And since I'm rushing to get my cousin's 2nd hand Da Vinci printer working by printing new parts with the last week of access to my college's Taz, I figured now was a good time to make up a fresh batch of ABS Juice and show you all how to do it as well.
If you find anything in this Instructable, please leave me some love and a vote in the 3D Printing contest would be nice as well. If you have any questions, leave them below and I'll do my best to help.
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
- Painters Tape
- Measuring Syringe
- A glass jar with sealing lid
- ABS100% Pure Acetone
- Little glass or metal cup
- Paper towel
Step 2: Measuring Up
Using the formula 10mm to 10mL for 3mm ABS:
I knew that 10mm would be a pretty small amount, like so small it's difficult to use, so I scaled it up to: 100mm to 100mL. Using the power of conversion, 100mm converts to approximately 4 inches. As you'll come to find out with ABS Juice, very little is exact. Such as the balance when you have a size different than 3mm. So after I had the 4 inch 3mm piece, I used that to measure and cut two pieces of the 1.75mm ABS. Which, again I know, isn't an exact weight to weight measurement, but it's close enough. To aid in the pieces dissolving, I cut them up into smaller pieces that would fully submerge into my acetone. After they're cut up, add them to their own individual jars.
Step 3: For Science!
Following the 10mm for 10mL to 100mm for 100mL conversion. Using my 10mL syringe, I knew I needed 10 "syringe-fulls" or ten 10mL's of acetone to keep my ratio equivalent. Measure out the acetone and add it to the jars you have your ABS pieces in.
After you have all the acetone in, put the lid back on your container and give it a good shake just to help get the reaction going. My whoops moment for this Instructable came when I accidentally spilled some of my acetone and learned that my tablecloth was not acetone friendly. So make sure you set up on a surface that won't be harmed by the acetone. Luckily my table cloth has seen far worse and this wouldn't be a major issue. But it might be a good idea to just lay down a scrap newspaper to catch any mishaps.
Step 4: Little Liquid Magic
After about 3 hours your ABS Juice should be pretty much ready to go. It will look like a foggy cup of liquid that's tinted whatever color your ABS was. Like mine ended up a gray and soft green. If you check your jars you may notice some solid pieces of ABS still hanging on, usually if you just shake the jar those will pry loose and dissolve as well, if they don't just use a butterknife to gently scrape it loose.
Anytime you go to use your ABS Juice you always want to shake it very well before applying it to help mix everything back up. To ease cleanup, since I have to share a communal printer, I use painters tape to layer over the print bed so when I'm done at night it's as simple as pulling the tape up off and heading home. Rather than having to spend the extra time cleaning the bed after I'm done. And like anything in the 3D printing world, you may get mixed reviews, some people will say anytime you use ABS Juice you should always put tape on your glass bed, and other people will say it's not necessary. It's honestly a split camp, so do your own reading and be your own judge. I will say the tape does make for easier cleanup.
Step 5: Thicken Up
Sometimes I want a mixture with a higher ratio of ABS. I use this slurry to patch broken parts or attach parts that had to be printed separately. To get this mixture I usually triple my original recipe. So approximately 12 inches of 3mm ABS for 100 mL of acetone. This is also a good recipe to reuse failed prints, or excess raft pieces, by adding in the ABS, letting it dissolve and gradually adding in acetone until you get the "thickness" you want. You can also use this formula to wipe down prints to get smoother surface finishes.
I did up a Dr. Doom mask for a local comic con, I tried a few different methods to attaching straps to it with little success. Due to the weight of the mask almost everything just pulled off of it. So I printed little notches and used the slurry to affix them to the side of the mask as shown. Then ran some elastic thru it and stitched it together. Worked great! Got me a lot of compliments as well.
Step 6: Tips and Tricks
Applying ABS Juice can sometimes be a fine art. I like to get my bed heated to nearly print temperature and using a paper towel that's been dipped in the ABS Juice, lightly rub it across the area you want to print. You want a light haze over the print surface, not to the point it's opaque, but also not so light it doesn't show. Easy, huh? Don't worry, it does get easier.
Notice the thick grey haze on the tape... This is a no no. One of my first attempts at using ABS juice, I figured thicker would be better. Boy, was I wrong! It did hold great, a little too great. I ended up ripping my tape layer and nearly scratched my glass bed trying to get it off as well. So now that you know what not to do, here's a helpful visual description of what you should.
Note on the right side, the red arrow pointing to a thick grey haze on the bed, you don't want your bed to look like this. Then on the left, there is no grey color at all on the bed, this means the juice has been applied too light. The green arrow shows you exactly what you want it to look like. There should be a light haze on the bed where you want to print. It may take a few tries to find exactly how to get it perfect. I know it's taken me a few to get it right. Don't be fazed if you have to gently pry a few parts off the first couple of times. Which is another reason the tape is nice, it will help you get stubborn prints off a little easier.
Step 7: Perfection
Once you find your own particular ratio and find your best method to application, ABS Juice, can take your ABS prints to a whole new level of perfection. So if you're tired of turning out warped, crooked, shifted prints, add ABS Juice to your arsenal and start turning out impressively smooth pieces.
If you found any of this helpful, please take some time to vote for me in the 3D Printing contest. If you have any questions, drop them below and I will do my best to either help or point you in the right direction.