Thursday 19 April 2012

ABS Fudge

Many months ago I put some HIPS, ABS and PLA in a jar of limonene. The HIPS dissolved completely fairly quickly and the ABS and PLA were seeming unaffected. I then forgot about it until yesterday.

The PLA is still completely unaffected but the ABS has become soft like fudge.

I assume that given long enough the limonene removes the styrene content from the ABS.

It looks like it is feasible to use HIPS as a support material for PLA and then remove it with limonene. Limonene isn't cheap though and it remains to be seen how much HIPS it can dissolve before it becomes too dilute.


  1. Exactly what properties did the ABS have after the limonene bath? I am wondering if there are any situations in which this could be used as a post-printing process to tailor the qualities of the part. If it just becomes mushy then I guess not.

  2. It is quite soft and deformable. When you deform it it slowly springs back, but not to its original shape. As you see it is curved one way. If I bent it the other way it would stay curved the other way.

    It still has a strong smell of limonene as limonene is not very volatile (it is quite oily) I think it will take a long time to dry out. I have put it inside one of my machines to cook it at 45C to see what happens.

  3. Hi nophead
    Just wondering...where do you get your ABS from? I would rather take your advice than start trying random suppliers...

  4. They are in Germany but shipping is reasonable and the diameter is very consistent. It does need higher temperatures than most ABS.