How To Cut abs Plastic? A Pro Guideline

Suppose you are working on your 3D printing task. You may need ABS plastic in different sizes and forms. But you have no idea how to cut ABS plastic at your home. 

With some tools and the following steps, you can easily cut the ABS plastic according to your requirement. ABS plastic is one kind of thermoplastic that is used for 3D printing, making toys and other household items.

Though it seems easy, ABS plastic can melt while cutting if you don’t follow the proper safety measures. You have to be focused and careful with the ABS plastic. 

There are many effective ways to cut ABS plastic. It is better to cut the plastic in your home workspace. Here we are discussing how you can cut ABS plastic into pieces. 

How to Cut Abs Plastic – A Complete Guide

Estimated cost: It depends on the ABS plastic sheet and tools you are using. 

Time needed: 20-30 minutes.

Selecting the correct tool can make your work easier. You should prepare your workstation before start cutting the plastic.

Tools: 

  • Circular/table saw 
  • Utility knife 
  • Clamp
  • Sharp L shaped scale 
  • Highlighter pen 

Materials: 

  • ABS plastic sheets

Steps on Cutting Thin ABS Plastic Sheets

In this process, you have to use the utility knife for the straight cut, some clamps, and a sharp L-shaped scale. You can follow these steps to cut the thin sheets of ABS plastic. 

Step 1- Place the Sheet.

At first, you need to lock the sheet to the surface of the table using a clamp. Make sure you are placing the plastic sheet on the plain surface. 

Step-2 Determine the spot.

Fix the position with the L-shaped scale to determine where you need to cut. After that, lock the scale with another clamp so that it can’t move

Step-3 Cut the Sheet.

Come with your first cut using a utility knife. You have to go through it slowly so that you can ensure the perfect cut. Repeat the process again, and you will notice some little shreds of plastic.

Step- 4 Keep Cutting.

Continue the cutting process. It is quite time-consuming, but this process for the thin plastic sheets. You can see how the clamp is holding the sheet that doesn’t go anywhere once you start the groove.

Step -5 Unlock the Clamp.

At this point, you need to unlock the clamp and again continue cutting until you get the nice groove.

Step 6- Final Cut

You have to put it on the edge of a straight board and hold it. Then you need to push down, and you will see how it just broke right into the groove. 

Take the knife again and flip the sheet. Then make the last cut into the other side. You will get your desired piece of ABS thin sheet. 

Steps of Cutting the Thick ABS Plastic Sheets

For cutting the thick plastic sheets, you may need to pick a strong tool as a table or circular saw for the straight cut. 

You can cut most of the plastics on the circular saw with excellent results. Proper setup and blade choice are the keys to cut the thick plastic sheets. 

Step -1 Mark with a Highlighter Pen

Spot the straight line using a highlighter pen on both the front and backside of the sheet. It will help you to cut through the straight line. 

Step -2 Lock the Sheet

You have to secure the thick sheet to the edges of the work table with a clamp. It will be locked into the table so that you can cut the sheet accurately. 

Step -3 Picking the Right Blade.

Make sure the fence is placed parallel with the blade. Blades with more teeth can cause frictions and heat. It can melt the plastic, causing burns to form. While choosing the blade, you need to pick the 50 or 60 teeth blades for the perfect result. 

Step-4 Start the Cutting Process.

Then, place the saw and begin with cutting the thick sheet. ABS plastic sheets are softer so that these will not chip. But it can cause excess vibration, which gives rough edges to the plastic sheet.

Step-5 Prepare for Work.

After completing the cutting process, give some time to make the plastic cool. Clean the sheet and preparing it for your project. This process can save time and energy. 

FAQ

Can I use a band saw for cutting ABS plastic?

Yes, you can use the band saw to cut ABS plastic by following some steps. First of all, you have to draw the cut lines with a marker pen. Then set up the blade guard to the proper height. 

Keep it near to the plastic sheet. Cut through the lines with the band saw blade. With this process, you can also cut the sheet into small pieces

Which saw should I choose for cutting the curves?

Jigsaw can be a suitable choice to cut the curves of ABS plastic. You can mark a cut line or drill holes to determine the line. 

Secure the plastic sheet with a clamp. Cut through the lines. That’s how you can get the perfect curved ABS plastic sheet.

What safety measures should I take for cutting the ABS plastic sheet?

You need to take some precautions while cutting the ABS plastic sheet. Turn on the power button to start the sawing process. You should wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from the small particles. 

Change the saw blade after every use. You can use masking tape for better measurement. Don’t make it quick because it will take time to cut the sheet properly. 

Remember to smooth the edges. Otherwise, it can be harmful to you. Make sure your work table is clean. 

Is it possible to cut the ABS plastic with a hot knife?

No, it is not possible for thick ABS plastic sheets. But it can be compatible with the thin ABS plastic sheets. For smooth finishing, you must choose power tools as a table saw and band saw.

Final words

Though it seems easy to cut the ABS plastic, a small mistake can ruin the entire plastic sheet. The process of cutting wood and plastic can be the same. Plastics are not strong as wood. You must have to be careful when you are cutting ABS plastic. 

ABS plastic is inexpensive than the other alternatives. We would like to suggest you practice cutting with the tools if you want to get the proper cut. Otherwise, you find it hard to cut the ABS plastic

After all, you know how to cut ABS plastic with the following steps. You have to follow the techniques according to the depth of the plastic. Select a perfect blade for a better outcome. We hope you will cut the ABS plastic without any hassle.

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