Our supply: Generally a special order material
Thickness: Available in 1mm, 1.5mm 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm
Sheet sizes: 2500×1250mm only
Your supply: You can also supply your own ABS up to 6mm in thickness and any sheet size up to 3000×1500mm
Acrylonite Butadiene Styrene has good impact resistance because it is manufactured at a low temperature. Ideal for making product prototypes.
ABS sheet is supplied with protective plastics film on one side only. This is because for most applications just one side will be visible. The side that is not protected will usually have slight surface markings / scratches.
As a standard, we apply protective paper backing to the side that is supplied with no protection to help minimize heat marks. You will need to peel this off when you receive your job.
As a benchmark, we recommend that minimum cut widths be no smaller than the corresponding thickness of the material. For example, if cutting from 3mm ABS, its best not to allow anything less than 3mm in width. We can go smaller (see cut width image above) but this can make your components quite fragile which might not be suitable for the application. See more on cut widths and Kerf. (how much the laser takes away.)
The sheets have a tendency to heat up when being cut which can cause them to bend up slightly during the cutting process. Make sure you leave lots of space between each components to help prevent this. 5mm is a safe distance.
ABS laser cuts with a highly polished edge. We achieve this using a high laser frequency (ppi. pulses per inch ) that melts the edges as it cuts. If you look closely at the edge it is not entirely smooth and is made up of lots of tiny vertical lines. This is caused by the pulses of the laser.
The priority cutting bed for ABS are aluminium lamella slats. In some cases (artwork dependent) we will need to use the honeycomb laser bed which can cause very minor flashback.
ABS is not manufactured for ‘appearance’ engraving specifically, but generally engraves consistently. Our standard setting is a light surface scratching. A small level of contrast will occur – engraved areas will turn slightly glossy. Not advised on thicknesses below 2mm due to the heat causing material to warp.
If you just require vector engraving / scoring and cutting, we leave the protective film on the top surface and engrave though the top layer of film into the ABS surface. This helps to protect the top and bottom surface from heat marks from cutting. Vector engraving is usually advised for component labelling and identification purposes.
As a standard we remove the top layer of protective backing when any raster engraving is required. We always leave the paper backing on to prevent any reverse markings when cutting is also required.
When raster engraving is required alongside cutting we need to remove the protective film to to engrave the surface. The downside of this is that the surface is more exposed when cutting. Very slight white heat marks can occur around the edge of the cuts. This is fairly minimal but can be cleaned off with a mild soap detergent if required.
Deeper engraving effects are not advised on ABS as the heat build-up can cause the material to warp when processing making the engraving less consistent.