Related ImageStrange times are these in which we live, when old and young are taught in falsehoods school. And the one man that dares to tell the truth is called at once, a lunatic and fool. - Plato
Phone Orders or Help: 800-734-3588, 206-458-7550 (Pacific Time)
spc Bd 1 Bd 3
 
Share This Page

Compare 3D Printer PLA and ABS Filament

Compare 3D Printer PLA and ABS Filament

If you are about to embark on creating things with your new printer, it might be a good idea to learn something about your new paints, namely the plastic that you'll be using.

Choosing your Plastic

Currently there are two common types of plastic used in 3D printing – PLA (Polylactic Acid or Polylactide) which is plant starch based and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) which is petroleum based. Both PLA and ABS have pros and cons. One or the other may be better for your situation. For example, ABS requires higher temperatures to extrude than PLA. That often requires that you use a hot plate to print on so the part does not cool too fast as it is being printed. PLA, on the other hand, frequently prints better if there is a fan blowing on the part to cool it down before it can droop.

PLA Filament

PLA is made from plants rich in starch like sugar beets, corn and wheat. It is both commercially 100% compostable and 100% biodegradable. Compostable means that it can be broken down into water, carbon dioxide and biomass, will not produce any toxic material and can support plant life. Biodegradable means that it can be broken down over time through a process involving microorganisms (fungi or bacteria). However, the process can create methane at a rate 62 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

ABS Filament

ABS is a petroleum based plastic and not safe to use for products which may come into contact with food.

Comparison

PLA

  • More brittle than ABS
  • Can droop if it gets too hot, for example, if it is left in a hot car in the summer time
  • Usually turns white along the high stress zone when it is bent, then breaks into lots of little pieces
  • Even though it is made from plants, it may contain dyes and binders which are not food safe
  • Smells sweet when it is being printed
  • Strength is relatively equal to ABS

ABS

  • Impact resistant and tough
  • Hard
  • Glossy
  • Petroleum based
  • Flammable
  • Prone to cracking if cooled too quickly
  • Usually bends before it breaks
  • Has a strong, toxic smell when it is being printed
  • Strength is relatively equal to PLA

Preparation

ABS usually needs a fully up to temperature heat bed or the part may not work. PLA , on the other hand benefits from cool blowing air to keep its temperature down so it does not droop. But it can also benefit from a heated printbed.

Many people have had good results printing ABS on Kapton, a form of Polyimide tape which is surprisingly expensive. But it usually lasts a long time. PLA , on the other, hand can often print right onto borosilicate glass. Some people find that PLA works great unheated on blue painters tape but the tape needs to be replaced fairly frequently.

 

Home 3D Printer Basics Build Instructions 3D Printer Models Filament Basics Compare Filaments Fun Reading 3D Printer Patents

Store



BOM (Parts List)



  Kossel Mini
  BOM (Parts List)

  Kossel Legacy
  BOM (Parts List)

  Prusa i3 Rework
  BOM (Parts List)


Electronics   Stepper Motors   Power Supplies   Stepper Motor Dampers   Kapton Heaters   Azteeg X5 Instructions   USBtinyISP   FSR/Endstop Controller   Limit Switches
  End Stops
  Wiring,
  Connectors, Crimps
  Power Connector
Plastic Parts
Mechanical Parts   Belts & Gears   Bearings   Coupling   Kossel Nuts
  Bolts, Screw
  Rods (Arms)   Rod Ends   Rod Set Screws   Hobbed Drive
  Gear
  Spool   Fan
Kapton Heater
Heat Spreader
Borosilicate Glass

Hot Ends   E3D HotEnds   E3D HotEnd Volcano   E3D HotEnd Nozzles   J Head
  HotEnds
  Resistors
  5.6, 6.8 Ohm
  Thermistors   Push Fit   Teflon Tube, PTFE
Printing Supplies   Kapton Tape   Blue Tape
Misc   Thermal Fuse   Heatbed   Extrusions   Silica Gel   Comm Cable   Spectra Line   Techflex   Split Loom
T-Slot Aluminum Extrusions
Bulk Nuts, Bolts, Screws

 


3D Stereograms

See 3d Pictures that just jump off the page. Stereograms are fun and enjoyable.
See
3D Stereograms

Send Us Your Comments Share Site With A Friend Go To Our Site Map Link To Us Related Links

Report A Broken Link Contact Information







Tri  D
Printing









































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































s_10






s_11






s_12
B7
 
TriDPrinting.com

Site Map | Terms of Use | Privacy & Security | Contact Us | Purchase Agreement | Send Feedback
DIY 3D Printer One Stop Shopping
© 1996-2011 by TriDPrinting.com All Rights Reserved.