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What Happens if You 3D Print ABS Too Hot?

Uncover the effects of overheating ABS during 3D printing. Ensure quality prints by understanding & preventing potential issues.

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Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is known for its durability and high heat resistance. However, printing it at too high a temperature can cause some issues.

If you print ABS too hot, the filament may string, sag, and have poor surface quality. It will also be challenging to remove from the heat bed. ABS generally produces a pungent odor, but the fumes will be more stinky and toxic to inhale when overheating. 

There are a lot of temperature-related factors to consider when printing with ABS. So, in this article, I’ll tell you all about what happens if you get ABS too hot and help you understand the best conditions for printing ABS.  

Effects of Printing ABS Too Hot

ABS has a recommended temperature to print with based on its melting point. If you print below this temperature, the ABS won’t melt properly.

ABS is highly heat-resistant. Higher extrusion temperatures create better filament flow and adhesion between print layers, especially for printing mechanical parts. However, at a specific temperature, this plastic will burn. 

The best temperatures for printing with ABS filament are 210 to 260 °C (410 to 500 °F). These temperatures ensure the plastic turns into a moldable goo but also ensure that it never burns. 

Using a setting somewhere in between this range usually works quite well. In many cases, a temperature in the middle of this range, such as 235 °C (455 °F), will do the trick. 

However, anything above 260 °C (500 °F) can melt the ABS beyond what it can handle. This results in the following:

  • Stringy and wispy filament. If a printer nozzle is too hot, the filament will come out stringy and wispy, resulting in warped and badly-formed models. It can also cause stringy filament between printed parts and layers, leading to an unstable print. 
  • Collapsing prints. ABS that’s too hot will produce an object with poor surface quality. It’ll turn out soft and unstable, causing the model to collapse in the middle or warp around the edges. When it cools, it will be brittle and fragile. 
  • Foul-smelling, toxic fumes. ABS and other filaments produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when melted. These are toxic to breathe and are even worse to inhale when the filament begins to burn due to extremely high temperatures. 

In addition, the print bed should be anywhere from 90 to 100 °C (194 to 212 °F). It’s not ideal to set a heated bed above 100 °C (212 °F) since that temp falls above ABS’ glass transition temperature

Health Risks of Printing ABS Too Hot

VOCs are significantly less risky in filaments like PLA, but they’re pretty severe in ABS. The higher the print temperature, the higher the risk of toxic emissions and the more harmful they’ll be. 

If you print with ABS over a long period, the emissions can significantly affect your health and cause the following illnesses and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of coordination
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Damage to the central nervous system

Additionally, VOCs contain carcinogens that can lead to certain types of cancer, like leukemia and gastrointestinal cancer

Good ventilation is a vital method you should use to combat harmful VOCs. Ventilation methods include:

  • Keep windows and doors open for natural aeration.
  • Use exhaust fans to expel stale air and draw in the fresh air. 
  • Air purifiers to get rid of any leftover toxins
  • Get an in-printer filter or a printer that already has a filter installed.
  • Keep the humidity as low as possible with a dehumidifier.

The Comfort Zone Twin Window Fan (available on is an excellent choice if you’re on a budget. It has three-speed functionality, a convenient remote control, and an adjustable accordion shape, which makes it easy to fit into tight 3D printing spaces. 

Effects of Printing ABS Too Cold

ABS goes in layers on the heated bed and the filament contracts as it cools. The bottom layer stays warm for longer than the surface layers to keep it stuck to the print bed. 

However, the filament will not stick properly if either your print bed or hotend is too cool. In some cases, it won’t even print. 

Here are some of the issues you may experience if you print ABS too cold: 

  • If your temperature is too low for ABS, it won’t come out of the nozzle. Naturally, this will clog your nozzle and extruder. If left untreated, a clogged nozzle can cause long-lasting damage to the printer.
  • If the heated print bed and nozzle are too cool, the uppermost layers may contract too fast, causing the bottom layer to warp or even peel off the plate.
  • The 3D print’s layers won’t adhere well, resulting in a weak object.

So, when printing with ABS, maintaining the ideal temperature range is critical. 

Ensure you don’t heat your bed below 90 °C (194 °F). Check the manufacturer’s instructions that come with the filament to confirm what the recommended temperature is. 

Contracting is only an issue if the print cools too quickly, but you can solve this issue with a printing enclosure. Printing enclosures keep the temperature consistent to avoid rapid cooling and warping, and they are critical when using ABS. 

Printing enclosures also contain VOCs to minimize harm to people in the room with the printer, especially if the printer is inside a home. 

Other Potential ABS Printing Issues

ABS is a hardy filament, but every printing material has unique challenges and considerations. Some other things you should monitor when printing with ABS filament are: 

  • Moisture
  • Print speed
  • Forced cooling

Let’s discuss these in more detail to figure out why they happen, the consequences, and how to solve or avoid them altogether. 


ABS is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture from the air. ABS will become moist when you do not store the filament correctly or when the storage conditions are too humid. 

If the filament gets wet and absorbs water, the following may happen:

  • Filament bubbling out of the nozzle.
  • Poor adhesion to the print bed. 
  • Soft and fragile prints
  • An extruder jam. 
  • Leaky extruder, even when the printer is off. 

Keep your ABS in a vacuum-sealed bag or an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing any moisture from the atmosphere. Otherwise, invest in an active dry filament cabinet

Print Speed

ABS prints far better at slower speeds. A slow print speed allows each layer to cool off properly, which avoids warping and curvature. Layer by layer, you can increase the printing speed, but not too much. 

A rapid print speed can also cause splitting or delamination between layers. 

A decent print speed for ABS is between 40 to 60 millimeters (1.57 to 2.36 in) per second. You might also want to use a first-layer speed of about 70%. 

If you have a printing enclosure, you can speed this up a little, as the conditions are more controlled, and there’s less interference from cool air and humidity. 

Forced Cooling

ABS doesn’t operate well in an environment with forced cooling. A printer cooling fan is crucial to every 3D printer, regardless of the filament, but using it too much will weaken the prints and negatively affect the filament. 

Forced cooling creates a more significant discrepancy between the layers and how quickly they cool, causing bad adhesion and poor consistency between layers. The most common symptoms are curling edges and severe warping. 

Avoid ABS print warping with the super easy steps in Dan Leow’s video below.


ABS isn’t necessarily a heat-sensitive material, but extreme heat can lead to poor-quality prints with warping, curling, and bad surface quality

ABS will also be tricky to print if you use a print temperature that’s too low, forced cooling, or an accelerated print speed. Overexposure to humidity and moisture can also affect ABS consistency and adhesion.

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About Ben

I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.