All About Filaments
PLA is short for polylactic acid and is a plastic made of renewable starches such as corn and sugarcanes.
- It is biodegradable and does not emit a lot of ultra fines particles (UFCs).
- Parts printed using PLA are more rigid than ABS parts.
- PLA is less prone to warping during print and is much more ‘stickier’ than ABS.
- PLA requires more force to be extruded.
- Depending on the specifications PLA extrusion temperatures vary significantly compared with ABS upwards of 60C in some cases.
- PLA is a newer material, but it is rapidly becoming very common in the industry.
ABS is short for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and it is a common petroleum based thermoplastic.
- Depending on the specifications, ABS extrusion temperatures are more stable compared with PLA around 40C.
- ABS is less brittle compared with PLA.
- It is easier to extrude compared with PLA.
- ABS is tried and true and is the preferred material for many 3D hobbyists.
- ABS is more prone to producing UFCs when compared to PLA. Good ventilation is recommended.
- It produces a slight ‘burnt plastic’ smell when extruding.