PLA vs. ABS | Why I Prefer PLA 3d Printing Over ABS

PLA Vs. ABS Common Filaments

There are lots of different types of filaments available today but I would say ABS and PLA 3d printing are still the most common for your every day 3d printing needs. I have used both, starting off with ABS because, well that is what my printer came with. My first machine was actually great at printing ABS. Being that it prints better in a controlled temperature environment, the DaVinci 1.0 is completely closed off meaning there are not many concerns of temperature differentiation from wind or a draft.

Both have their uses and both can be used for many of the same things. ABS is typically stronger than PLA and has a higher melting temperature (I typically print it at around 235°C). Although it is stronger, it does have a bit more flexibility than PLA. It requires a hotbed to be able to print correctly and prevent curling (corners of prints rising). Also it has a pretty strong burnt plastic smell (can’t be to good to breathe in.)

PLA 3d Printing

Printing PLA Is A Breeze

PLA 3d printing, on the other hand, to me is much easier to get going with. I love not needed to use a heated bed as normally it takes a while for the bed to heat up, especially if you need to run multiple test prints. PLA has not much of an odor to me, if anything it smells sweet and is an organic plastic (not saying its great to breathe in but it shore seems “cleaner.” Its printing temperature is quite a lot lower than ABS (I usually print between 195 and 205). Unlike ABS needed a completely warm chamber to print well, PLA actually prints better with airflow. Really the more airflow on the current layer being printed the better!

There are times when you want to use ABS for example, I print a gear that is used in a machine, this needs to be strong and also the machine gets semi warm after continuous usage so the added strength and higher melting temperature of ABS is perfect for this. Other than cases like that I am a complete PLA printer. I do think that for most people PLA 3d printing is the better option especially if you are just printing things for around the house, decorations, and other little gadgets.


About: Daniel

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