Asked — Edited

Pla Vs Abs Settings

I have been working with my new printer and find PLA seems to print very well on smaller flat pieces. I am still trying to figure out orientation to get the larger structures with overhang to have the right support but I guess it is mostly trial and error. Some parts come out nice, some not so nice...

I have been trying to do more with ABS but find problems. Layer separation, improper bonding and not knowing when to use cooling, high speed or low etc. Is there anywhere I can go to get a better understanding of how to use the ABS?

Anthony has mentioned he may have 3D printing tutorials soon. I look forward to this kind of tutorials.

Any advice?



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Head over to the MakerWare or FlashForge Google forum for tips on printing methods that you can apply to your setup.


Welcome to the world of 3D printing. I can say that it can be fun and frustrating. I use a Flashforge Creator (Wood Case) and in printing with ABS, it has been trial, and error. One thing I found out is that (At least my printer) you must make sure your build plate is level, it is important. When I received my printer I noticed that the metal build plate was warped a little, so I invested in a glass plate. For ABS I have tried Kapton tape, Blue painters tape, Hair Spray, and finally an Acetone Slurry (mixture of Acetone and ABS). What worked best for me is the Slurry mixture (it will hold your prints down really well). I can now print for hours upon hours with no problems. You may also want to take a look at your heat bed, and extruder settings. Did your Kit provide you with the recommended settings? The layer separation is caused by the lower layers cooling to fast. As Robot-Doc had suggested, check out the Makerbot, and Flashforge forums for tips.:)


Thanks for the info. My printer is a kit and I bought a glass bed at the same time I bought the kit assuming I may have a problem so that is covered. I have been lucky that the bed stays pretty level. I may only need a minor touch up once in a while. I still check it anyway.

The setting info is pretty minimal. The disadvantage of buying a kit is you get minimal operation information.

PLA works well on tape. For ABS I used the hairspray and tried a slurry but got best result from the glue stick (too good). I had a problem getting the part off the plate. Next I will try the slurry again or maybe glue on tape.

I will look at the sites recommended and try again.

One last thing is, should I consider building an enclosure? I have heard it sometimes helps.

Thanks to All, Ron


@Andy, yes an enclosure will help keep temperature settings more consistent both at the nozzle area and the surround build plate. Me personally don't have an enclosure for my Maker Gear M2, but could use one.

Look to see if Simplify3D supports your printer, I can highly recommend this software.

For ABS and for ME (almost everyone has there own settings), I mostly use Glue Stick on the heated glass at 110ºC. My nozzle is at 235-240ºC. Yes sometimes it to sticks to well. If your making/designing your own parts to print, you can purposely raise one corner slightly and that will help give you an edge to pride against. The z-axis set point is crucial for ABS, you want it to slightly squish out against the glass.


The issue I am hearing from the replies you guys gave me is a hot end temperature problem. I do notice the temperature dropping some when the hot end fan comes. I will print a part without the fan and see if the temperature maintains. I assume the fan is really only needed for overhang and suspended surfaces. I will get some insulation cloth and wrap the hot end to not allow the fan to cool it.

I will go back in the settings and review them. Meanwhile I will look at the forums mentioned.

Thanks to all, Ron


I got a lot of answers from the forums. I also went to some manuals for some printers and software (Cura) and found more on the settings I should be using.

Without the fan my last PLA print came out nice. I will reset for ABS and run the same part to see how it comes out.

I found some high temp wrap and will install it on the block of my hot end which should keep it at temp when the fan runs. This way I can try the tall intricate part I want to print.



Last run of ABS was poor. Hot end was 235 to 240 . Poor bond layer to layer and brittle. Cooling fan was on 55%. Speed was 45 mm/s.

The finish was poor from start to end. Any advice?

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No fan on ABS. 235-240 should be ok. but you might try to raise a little. But try without fan first.


Thanks, I was concerned with overhangs so I ran the fan. Next try will be fan off and 245.


Just try without the fan first. 235-240 should be fine for ABS.



What are some of your other settings? Object Infill Layer Height Number of shells Feedrate Travel Feedrate? For ABS I use 80mm/s, 45mm/s may be too slow which may be causing the separation issue. Heatbed temp?


For my ABS printing on Flashforge Dreamer, here are the settings:

First layer .30 mm layer height .20 mm layer thickness 3 infill 15 % hexagone print speed 60 mm travel speed 80 mm nozzle temp 220 heat beed 105 cooling auto

all these set-up are provide by flashforge SW named Flashprint

Even if you do not have the Flashforge printer, the settings given by this SW might help you to set-up yours


Hello to all . My work interrupts my fun... LOL

I am going to start with the original settings I used based on my best test and will post my results. I think I got too far from these base settings. Thanks to all for the information and the input so far. I will try to do it on thursday am.



Update: Still printing the part. It is looking a lot better than the last one. The recommended changes are helping. I will let this one finish. I will post my results.



Spoke too soon. Lower portion of part looked ok. Upper detail (thinner portion) lost bond and got brittle.

I am going to reset to PLA and run a part to be sure machine is printing ok.

Then post settings. Ron


I printed 2 test blocks. 1 PLA (red) 1 ABS (white). I went back to zero and reset to original settings.

PLA hot end 220 bed 50. layer height 0.1, shell 1, fill 20%, print speed 45

Test 1 Ran PLA and saw stringing. At 50% print I reduced the temp to 215 which reduced the stringing and the part finished out decent.

Test 2 ABS hot end 220 bed 70. all other settings stayed the same. I was pleased with the results. The overhang was a little lumpy but I assume that can't be helped.

I was surprised the lower temperature helped the ABS. I will try the large part again using the same settings but will increase the shell to 1.5. A future test will be 2 shells if this works

I found I can have no drag on the filament. The guide I was using may have caused too much drag at certain locations during the print. This may have caused some of the defects. I will build a new guide and a friction free spool holder to allow the smooth payout of filament.

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Advice welcomed.

To All, Thanks for the help.

The Insanity Continues..



I have gotten the quality of print with ABS a lot better but have one last problem. On very tall and spindley parts over 100 mm high, I find the thin transfers warping during the print. This warping raises the edge of the point and allows the nozzle to hit it. After a couple of times of print it warps enough to allow the nozzle to break the part. Any suggestions? If I set the orientation differently, it causes other problems.

The first picture (blue parts) does not show the buidup of material, just the problem areas where it occurs. Second picture gives a better idea.

My next test will be to print in PLA which I think will have less warping. I wanted this part in ABS.

Second test

I printed with PLA (red part) and found the same problem. I found I needed to tape the part to the base to have it sturdy enough to print up near the top. I still have the warping as shown on the blue part, but I manually tap the warp downward as it cools between layers while it is printing. I do this a few times when the nozzle begins to hit the warped edge. The tapping flattens the part and it is fine for a while until it hits again, until the gap closes.

Any advice?

Thanks, Ron

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What a lot of 3D printer owners have done in this case is to build a cover to encase the print area to prevent cooling air from entering the print area and also to contain the heated air inside the enclosure.


Thanks, I will try building an enclosure.

These light weight parts are a tough part to learn on. I will need to eliminate most of the warping when I begin the next group.

I will use the PLA (red) parts I printed for the two arms. The two leg pieces which are about the same size in height will be ABS. I will try to keep the warping to a minimum.



Thanks to all that helped and responded to my issues. I am printing 8 hour parts with decent results. I am hooked on PLA and ABS fumes now. Much more to learn and play with.

Anthony, I look forward to your videos, and tutorials. I also hope to see more of the mini and it's cousins still in your mind. (LOL)



Hello to All

The ABS issues still are a problem. The size of the legs are too tall for my printer so I have to lay them down. Trying to print the leg portion of my build I now have warping and cracking problems. Due to the fact these parts are a 22 hours+ print time I don't want to mess to many of them up.

I returned to PLA an the first one came out ok, but I had to adjust settings as I went along. The second part is printing now and I will see if the adjustments improve the part quality.

I have heard ABS parts with walls, are long, and fairly high are tough to keep from warping and cracking. I used air blocks to prevent drafts. I messed with temps and speeds, and still the problems . Has anyone had similar issues?

I wanted to use ABS but I may have to stay with PLA. The lower temps and print stability of PLA is helping a lot.

Looking for opinions.

Ron R

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I printed out a full part in PLA and it came out great. Settings were 195 degrees head, 55 degrees bed and speed 95%. The surface was nice, no warping, no cracking or lifting, and very minimal stringing. I left all other settings the same as I used for the ABS. 24 hour + print time. I will be printing out matching parts in PLA for now but I want the strength of ABS so I need to print them in ABS soon.

I may try to make some tall hollow rectangle boxes with walls about the same thickness as my part. This way I can play with the settings.

Any other suggestions?

Ron R