Prusament ASA

I bought a roll of the new Prusament ASA, I was pretty impressed with the ASA so I wanted to give the Prusament stuff a go. I normally print in an enclosure, specifically an Ikea Lack based enclosure. But upon reading a Prusa blogpost I saw a methodology to print ASA and other high warp materials without an enclosure! So I thought it might be interesting to do a back to back comparison between printing in an enclosure and using the 'skirt' method.

The methodology uses an rounded shape that surrounds the entire print, this is printed as a single perimeter with no top or bottom layers so it's just a shell. The idea is that this shell prevents any drafts from cooling down the part too rapidly, which causes warping and could warp the part right off the build plate. It also traps a pocket of hot air around the part which should help with overall part quality.

Below you can see the setup that I have used and a closeup of the finished print inside the skirt. If you look closely you can see a bulge on the left hand side of the skirt, this was the side that was closest to an open window and you can see that the skirt itself has begun to warp. However the Benchy that was printed inside the skirt shows no such warping on that side.
The Benchy printed without a skirt in just over 2 hours and the Benchy with a skirt took 2 hours 40 minutes

On the left you can see a Benchy printed in a Ikea Lack enclosure and on the right is a Benchy printed using the full height skirt.

The two Benchys  are really very similar to one another, with the funnel being slightly better defined on the one printed without an enclosure, although that is probably due to the increased layer times that come with printing in a skirt. The one primary difference is that the Benchy printed without an enclosure has slightly more warping on the bottom where the part met the build plate.

In conclusion it appears that using a skirt the same height as the part to help reduce the effects of drafts is quite effective when it comes to printing ASA, it appears to give results close to the quality of a part printed with a proper enclosure. I think best practice would suggest to use a rounded shape because sharp corners tend to warp, and to use a shape that closely follows the footprint of the part with only a small amount of space inbetween, this is so the temperature in the skirt remains more consistent.

I look forward to printing some interesting parts with this filament!


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