CNC Machining Materials


At a glance


CNC Mill
CNC Lathe

Lead Time

As fast as 3 days


Black, neutral matte finish


With drawing: as low as +/- 0.005 mm
No drawing: ISO 2768 medium




Impact-resistant applications, production-like parts (pre-injection molding)

About the Material

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a commonly used thermoplastic material in 3D printing, particularly in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and similar processes. ABS has a range of properties that make it suitable for various applications. Here are some common applications for ABS in 3D printing:

Functional Prototypes: ABS is often used to create functional prototypes of products and parts. Its strength and durability make it suitable for testing the form, fit, and function of a design.

End-Use Parts: ABS can be used to produce end-use parts for a variety of applications, especially those that require toughness and resistance to mechanical stress.

Automotive Components: ABS is used to create automotive parts such as interior trim, dashboard components, brackets, and exterior components like grilles and trim.

Consumer Electronics: ABS is used for the production of casings, enclosures, and housings for various consumer electronic devices like computer peripherals, game controllers, and home appliances.

Functional Tools and Fixtures: Manufacturers use ABS to produce custom tools, jigs, fixtures, and assembly aids used in production processes.

Educational Models: ABS is used for creating educational models that help students and professionals understand complex concepts in various fields, including engineering and biology.

Architectural Models: Architects and designers use ABS to create detailed architectural models and prototypes of building designs.

Custom Components: ABS is suitable for producing custom components for various applications, including healthcare devices, industrial equipment, and machinery.

Aerospace Prototyping: ABS is used to create prototypes and models of aerospace components and assemblies, where accuracy and strength are essential.

Display and Signage: ABS is commonly used to create displays, signage, and marketing materials due to its durability and ease of fabrication.

Toys and Games: ABS is used to produce a wide range of toys and games, including action figures, board game pieces, and puzzles.

Art and Sculptures: Artists and sculptors use ABS for creating intricate sculptures and art pieces with a wide range of colors and finishes.

Medical Prototyping: ABS can be used in medical prototyping for creating models of surgical instruments, patient-specific anatomical models, and medical device prototypes.

Appliance Components: ABS is used for producing components and parts in appliances like vacuum cleaners, kitchen appliances, and washing machines.

Consumer Goods: ABS is utilized for a variety of consumer goods, including gardening equipment, luggage components, and kitchenware.

Lighting Components: ABS is used in the production of lighting fixtures and components due to its ability to withstand heat and its electrical insulation properties.

It’s important to note that while ABS has many advantages, such as its strength and durability, it can also be sensitive to environmental factors like UV light and may require post-processing steps for improved surface finish. Proper ventilation is essential when 3D printing with ABS due to the release of potentially harmful fumes during the printing process.

Material Properties

Tensile Strength

5,100 PSI

Elongation at Break



Rockwell R100


0.969 g/㎤
0.035 lbs / cu. in.

Maximum Temperature

160° F

McMaster Part Number


Material Finish

ABS has a somewhat matte finish (think lego bricks) and can be painted. Certain faces may appear more shiny depending on their geometry and how they’re machined. If painting ABS parts, finish will be dependant of the choice of paint.

Design Recommendations

Max Part Size

1200 x 500 x 152 mm [x, y, z] (mill)
152 x 394 mm [d, l] (lathe)

Min End Mill Size

(0.03 in)

Min Drill Size

0.5mm (0.02 in)

Min Wall Thickness

0.5 mm


Square profile, full radius, dovetail profiles

Radii : Depth

Depth must not exceed 12x drill bit diameter.
For end mills, depth must not exceed 10x tool diameter.

Cost Saving Tip

To reduce costs, limit the number of part setups, the number of inspection dimensions or tight tolerances, and deep pockets with small radii.

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Can ABS plastic be machined?

ABS plastic is a low-cost engineering plastic, widely used for pre-injection molding prototypes. CNC machined ABS is a great option for production-like parts, where detail and mechanical properties are important.

What is the best way to cut ABS plastic?

Depending on the desired outcome for the project, ABS plastic can either be cut or engraved using CNC milling.

Common uses of CNC machined ABS plastic?

ABS plastic is an excellent choice for general purpose prototyping, pre-molding prototypes, parts that will receive impact and require toughness, or when low cost is desired.


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