ABS Machining Guide:What You Should to Know

ABS is the king of plastics and is an easily processed plastic material widely used across various industries.

Plastic is much lighter than metal and has lower transportation costs. The price of plastic materials is also very advantageous. They are easier to shape, come in more colors, and are insulating materials, among other advantages.

There are many processing methods for ABS parts, and the processing method that can achieve high-precision tolerances is CNC machining. This article introduces the advantages of ABS machining and how to improve ABS machining skills.


Tips of ABS CNC Machining

To achieve perfect ABS processing, the following strategies are crucial:

  • The feed and speed of plastic processing determine the processing cost and surface quality of ABS parts.
  • Make full use of coolant to dissipate heat when working with ABS parts, as ABS has poor thermal conductivity.
  • Select appropriate CNC machining tools for the various processes of turning, milling, and drilling. This tool requires an experienced machinist to formulate a professional machining strategy.
  • Eliminate stress on the raw material before milling the plastic, and control distortion and deformation of ultra-thin structures, geometrically porous structures, and hollow structure ABS components.
  • For high-precision parts, control of the treatment temperature is important. The thermal expansion properties of ABS materials vary considerably at different temperatures.
  • After the parts are processed by ABS, the way they are placed and transferred also determines the look of the product. ABS parts with high appearance requirements cannot previously collide with each other. The placement of the stands is critical to the look.

The quality of ABS raw materials is very important, so the raw materials used in Tirapid company are all imported, and cut without impurities, and the finish and appearance of the surfaces are fully guaranteed to be of first-class quality. With a dedicated technical team and years of processing experience, ABS components with a variety of complex structures can be precisely controlled to the smallest tolerances.


Processing Methods of ABS Materials

ABS CNC Machining

ABS manufacturing is the processing of material prototypes into 3D drawings by milling and cutting through plastic blocks. CNC milling can obtain accurate and complex ABS parts ,by milling the plastic without melting.

The precision of ABS parts can reach ±0.02mm or more by CNC machining. As a result, many of the precision parts have no material limitations. ABS plastic materials are the best choice for saving material costs and reducing processing time. The cost of the CNC parts can keep to a minimum.

ABS  Injection Molding

ABS injection molding involves heating the ABS material and shaping it using high pressure and mold cooling. It is suitable for complex-shaped structural parts.

The premise of using ABS injection molding is to open the injection mold. The investment in injection molds in the early stage is relatively large, so there are certain requirements for the number of ABS parts, at least tens of thousands. And it can be produced repeatedly, ABS injection molding VS 3D printing, ABS injection molding is the lowest cost processing.

3D Printing ABS

ABS can be used in 3D printing processes using ABS powder as the raw material. The main equipment adopts 3D printer technology, and the program design is carried out according to the 3D drawings of the product, which can automatically print out the 3D model.

Generally, products using 3D printer technology have complex structures, are not very sensitive to material requirements, and pay more attention to appearance. After the 3D printer prints out the parts, more post-processing work is required, such as deburring, surface treatment, grinding, and finer manual processing.

3D printers are suitable for rapid prototyping or low-volume, high-volume production. Compared with ABS processing, the tolerance requirements can only meet the general requirements, while ABS processing can achieve ±0.02mm.

ABS Rapid Prototype

Create an ABS part through rapid prototyping, which is efficient and takes a short time. It is suitable for designers to design, test parts, and quickly obtain the practicability of parts.




Matters to be noted in the processing of ABS

How to prevent deformation during ABS machining

It is very important to choose the right tool when machining ABS, which is suitable for smaller tools. The feed speed also needs to be slowed down so that the heat generated by the feed speed is too fast and the ABS is deformed during processing. If larger knives are used for processing, the knives can cause the material to melt or chip when cutting, which can damage the final product.

Raw material pollution

Raw materials are also very important for processing. It is necessary to find a reliable raw material manufacturer to ensure that we buy clean and impurity-free raw materials. Use high-quality raw materials, avoid doping impurities in raw materials, and keep the production environment clean. Solving the problem from the source will make our processing run more smoothly.

Melt contamination

Pay attention to temperature control during processing to avoid high-temperature heating, the residue in the barrel will fuse with ABS, and the final product will be polluted.

Mold Contamination

The mold must be cleaned and maintained, regularly to avoid stains during the mold molding process.

Devices Care

Pay attention to equipment maintenance daily to avoid cutting tools during reprocessing

During the processing of the workpiece, the stain contacts the workpiece, which makes the ABS parts polluted.

Routine maintenance and cleaning of molds and melts

Ensure the mold and melt are clean, and control the processing temperature to avoid being too high or too low. Please make sure the quality of the melt is good, organize and clean the production environment, and make sure it is free from dust and odor.

Equipment Daily Maintenance

Regularly maintain and maintain the equipment to ensure the normal operation of the equipment. often. Take quality control measures, including visual inspections

Add automatic detection devices, etc., and deal with problems that arise in the production process on time.



Advantages of ABS CNC Machining

✜ For parts of the same structure, the material cost of ABS is lower than that of metal materials

✜ ABS is lighter for the same volume of parts and reduces transportation costs

✜ ABS machining is easier with negligible tool wear

✜ There is no need for surface color treatment after ABS processing, reducing the cost of calculated parts

✜ ABS is not easily deformed after processing, and the dimensional tolerance is stable

✜ ABS has an excellent electrical insulation effect

✜ ABS has strong acid and alkali resistance and great chemical resistance.

✜ ABS is more environmentally friendly and can be recycled and reused.

✜ ABS grade can reach FDA food grade

✜ Based on ABS hardness, the surface is not easy to scratch.

✜ ABS is harmless and non-toxic to the human body

Disadvantages of ABS CNC Machining

Although ABS polymers offer various advantages, they also come with certain disadvantages

1. ABS is less resistant to UV exposure, which causes photo-oxidation of the polymer, which breaks the polymer chain and causes ABS to yellow and become brittle.

2. The materials used are handled by professional engineers, which allows for better control of material matching, resulting in material cost savings. But the labor cost of a professional engineer is higher than that of an ordinary engineer.

3. It gives variable results during most prototyping processes, especially 3D printing. Adding an enclosure, while printing is the perfect way to avoid dust, and debris while keeping the inner space at a constant temperature. Depending on the material grade, the temperature requirements will vary. In most cases, however, a room temperature between 20°C and 30°C is recommended.

4. The environmental requirements for processing ABS are particularly high. It needs to be controlled to a certain temperature and processed in a dry environment.

Processing ABS in a humid environment can lead to surface roughness and bubble formation in the final product. Final products processed in too cold an environment are prone to breakage.




ABS CNC Machining Applications

ABS is widely used in various industries due to its excellent impact resistance, heat resistance, flame retardancy, and other characteristics. Some application fields include:

Automobile Industry

ABS is light in weight and highly stable. It is used in bearings, bushings, trim panels, instrument panels, handles, seat belt buckles, etc.

Medical Devices

ABS is frequently used due to its good chemical resistance and limited resistance to acid and alkaline solutions. Medical device boxes, medical device housing, ABS fasteners, atomizers, compressors, etc.


-ABS has strong toughness and hard mechanical properties. and is often used in structural components, ABS decorative plates, seats, ABS brackets, ABS snap rings, ABS support blocks, ABS rollers, etc.

Electrical Appliances

due to the high gloss of ABS, easy molding, and Surface is not easy to scratch characteristics. Office equipment and machines need to have a nice appearance, such as electrical casings, telephones, electrical structural parts, fans, air conditioners, sockets, refrigerator linings, computer keyboards, etc.


ABS is cheap, has high toughness and hardness, and has a wide range of uses material. Tirapid  team provide ABS custom processing services and is an expert in this field.

For more information on Tirapid, feel free to contact us. we have a professional engineering department to answer all your questions. Tailor-made for you, offering you the cheapest ABS machining service available.

We have extensive experience in the surface treatment of plastic parts. It can meet your needs perfectly. Just upload your CAD file and receive a free instant quote.


1. What kind of material is ABS and does it have a long lifespan?

ABS or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is a common thermoplastic polymer. Impact resistance

Structural strength and rigidity. Chemical resistance Solvent resistance. It is often used to make pipelines, and the average service life of pipelines can be as long as 60-80 years.

2. Is ABS harmful to humans?

ABS does not contain carcinogens. Harmless to humans under normal processing conditions. Therefore, toys, refrigerator linings, computer keyboards, and other common items in life are made of ABS.

3. Does ABS plastic degrade in sunlight?

Although ABS is heat-resistant, it is easy to deform and age when exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet rays for a long time. The material becomes brittle, easy to break, and the color will turn yellow.

4. Why do you need to dry the ABS material before processing it?

ABS should be thoroughly dried before processing. Because ABS that absorbs moisture is prone to deformation after processing, the surface is rough, and foaming will affect the final product, thereby increasing time and labor costs. Therefore, Tirapid recommends controlling the temperature rating of ABS plastic material to dry at 80-90 degrees Celsius, for 2-3 hours.

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