Feb 5, 2019

ABS Glue – What Is It & How to Make It?

Need to know about ABS glue and how to make it? Learn about the easiest way to bind your ABS parts.

ABS Glue Post-Processing Problems

ABS glue in different colors. Source: tweaktown.com

There are times when a 3D print requires some sticky finishing touches, especially when dealing with ABS. This material is very popular, and thanks to its chemical make-up, one can make use of some special substances to aid with post-processing. For example, a common use case is to join multiple 3D printed ABS parts.

Mixtures or solutions that can be applied to ABS vary and there’s a tendency to confuse them due to their similar composition. Of particular attention and interest is ABS glue, but two other substances include ABS juice and ABS slurry.

This article discusses ABS glue, especially in contrast to juice and slurry.

ABS Glue Glue, Juice, and Slurry

Combining glue, juice, and slurry can lead to awesome results. Source: MatterHackers

Before describing ABS glue and differentiating it from the juice and slurry, it’s important to know that all three are a mixture of ABS filament and acetone. The main difference, therefore, is the ratio of the two substances.

  • ABS glue is an adhesive that bonds ABS parts together through fusion or welding. Joined parts are chemically melted by the glue, fusing into one strong component. The substance has a consistency of white school glue.
  • ABS juice is a sticky juice used to enhance build surface adhesion. It should only be applied to Kapton tape or glass. It’s not recommended for application on a plastic print bed.
  • ABS slurry is a paste-like material used on glued pieces to hide seems. It should be applied as a gap-filler or to add to areas that require building up.

ABS Glue How to Make It

Collecting the materials. Source: tweaktown.com

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 100 cm of 3-mm ABS filament in the color you desire for your glue
  • 50 mL commercial-grade acetone
  • Mason jar (or container made of PP or HDPE)

Before starting to make the glue, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area:

  1. Pour the acetone into your jar.
  2. Snip the filament into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will dissolve in the acetone.
  3. Add the ABS pieces to the acetone and mix.
  4. Let the mixture sit overnight.

ABS Glue Where to Buy It

An ABS cement designed for fusing pipes together. Source: Amazon

As a mix of ABS and acetone, ABS glue isn’t that easy to come by commercially. Other products, such as ABS cement, do exist, but they’re designed for functional parts manufactured out of ABS. Many aren’t designed to be “invisible” and therefore aren’t well-suited to 3D printed parts.

License: The text of "ABS Glue – What Is It & How to Make It?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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