How to choose your filament

ABS – It’s strength; flexibility, machinability, and higher temperature resistance make it often a preferred plastic for engineers, and professional applications. The hot plastic smells deter some, as does the plastics petroleum based origin. The additional requirement of a heated print bed means there are some printers simply incapable of printing ABS with any reliability.

PLA – The wide range of available colors and translucencies and glossy feel often attract those who print for display or small household uses. Many appreciate the plant-based origins and prefer the semi-sweet smell over ABS. When properly cooled, PLA seems to have higher maximum printing speeds, lower layer heights, and sharper printed corners. Combining this with low warping on parts make it a popular plastic for home printers, hobbyists, and schools.

Specification Comparisons

ABS

PLA

Extrude at ~235°C Extrude at ~180-210°C
Requires heated bed temp reach 100-110°C Acrylic plate (Suggested) or heated bed temp reach 60-70°C
More flexible More brittle
Prone to cracking, delamination, and warping Prone to curling of corners and overhangs
Can be bonded using adhesives or solvents (Acetone or MEK) Can be bonded using adhesives
Fumes are unpleasant in enclosed areas More pleasant smell when extruded
Easier to use, suggested for Beginners

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