Toner Plastics ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) as a polymer can take many forms and can be engineered to have many properties. In general, it is a strong plastic with mild flexibility (compared to PLA). The flexibility of ABS makes creating interlocking pieces or pin connected pieces easier to work with. It is easily sanded and machined. ABS is soluble in Acetone allowing one to weld parts together with a drop or two, or smooth and create high gloss by brushing or dipping full pieces in Acetone.
It's strength, flexibility, machinability, and higher temperature resistance make it often a preferred plastic for engineers, and professional applications. The hot plastic smell deter some as does the plastics petroleum based origin. The additional requirement of a heated print bed means there are some printers simply incapable of printing ABS with any reliability.
For most, the single greatest hurdle for accurate parts in ABS will be a curling upwards of the surface in direct contact with the 3D Printer's print bed. A combination of heating the print surface and ensuring it is smooth, flat and clean goes a long way in eliminating this issue. Additionally, some find various solutions can be useful when applied beforehand to the print surface. For example, a mixture of ABS/Acetone, or a shot of hairspray.
For fine features on parts involving sharp corners, such as gears, there will often be a slight rounding of the corner. A fan to provide a small amount of active cooling around the nozzle can improve corners but one does also run the risk of introducing too much cooling and reducing adhesion between layers, eventually leading to cracks in the finished part.
Black ABS Filament. 1.75mm. 2.2 lb. spool.
Not to be used with Replicator 2.
Color shown are for reference only.