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PLA plastic or polylactic acid is a vegetable-based plastic material, which commonly uses cornstarch as a raw material. PLA is a fully biodegradable thermoplastic polymer consisting of renewable raw materials.
PLA is a bio-degradable type of plastic that is manufactured out of plant-based resources such as corn starch or sugar cane. This is why it is called ‘the green plastic’. Be sure to throw it in a filament recycler and you’re as green as can be.
ABS, while weaker and less rigid than PLA, is a tougher, lighter filament more suitable for some applications beyond purely hobbyist. ABS does require more effort to print than PLA because it’s more heat resistant and prone to warping.
- Can be printed on a cold surface
- More environmental-friendly
- Shinier and smoother appearance
- Smells sweet when being print
- No harmful fumes during printing
- Higher 3d printer speed
The study found that PLA is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) when used in contact with food.
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) has a long history in the 3D printing world. This material was one of the first plastics to be used with industrial 3D printers. ABS also has a higher glass transition temperature, which means the material can withstand much higher temperatures before it begins to deform.
ABS has superior mechanical properties but is harder to print with compared to PLA. PLA is ideal for 3D prints where aesthetics are important. ABS is best suited for applications where strength, ductility, machinability and thermal stability are required. ABS is more prone to warping.
Great Mechanical Properties: The material is known to be strong, tough and durable. It is also forgiving to scratches, offers good resistance to heat and everyday chemicals. It can endure heat, pressure and stress like no other home 3D printer material, making it a great choice for „wear and tear“ prints.
Print quality with ABS can be surprisingly good since mostly you don’t need part cooling with active fans and such.
HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) is a dis solvable filament that is frequently used as support material. It acts as a great support material because it is easily removed with Limonene solution, leaving the clean high-quality print that you want behind.
HIPS is very similar to ABS, but as the name implies, it’s capable of withstanding much higher impact forces. It’s easily painted, machinable, and works with a large number of adhesives. Moreover, it’s food-safe, being declared FDA-compliant for food processing applications.
HIPS is very similar to ABS and is commonly used in toys and product casings such as CD boxes. Unlike PLA and ABS, HIPS is non-hygroscopic. HIPS is a very tough plastic and can be painted and glued, it is also recyclable.
HIPS – High Impact Polystyrene, it is a tough, rigid plastic material with high impact strength which can be guillotined, punched, routered or sawn easily, and is readily available in a wide variety of colours.
Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), also called acrylic styrene acrylonitrile, is an amorphous thermoplastic developed as an alternative to acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), but with improved weather resistance, and is widely used in the automotive industry.
ASA filament is more waterproof, more rigid and much easier to print the ABS (warping virtually no effect). As a counterpart as ABS, ASA filament generates toxic fumes when printing so it is very important to print in a place with good ventilation.
Acrylic-styrene-acrylonitrile (ASA) polymers are amorphous plastics which have mechanical properties similar to those of ABS resins. However, the ASA properties are far less affected by outdoor weathering. ASA is a terpolymer that can be produced by either a patented, proprietary reaction process or by a graft process.
The ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate) is a thermoplastic that combines the mechanical robustness, the resistance to UV rays.
Polyethylene terephthalate glycol, commonly known as PETG or PET-G, is a thermoplastic polyester that provides significant chemical resistance, durability, and excellent formability for manufacturing. PETG can be easily vacuumed and pressure-formed as well as heat-bent thanks to its low forming temperatures.
PLA is slightly easier to 3D Print than PETG. This is due to PLA being more forgiving when it comes to settings. Both are user friendly, however PETG is more durable, stronger and is impact resistant. Technically, you don’t need a heated bed to print both materials.
You don’t need an enclosure, but it should not be too cold an environment or really large prints will warp even with PETG. PETG likes to print hot. Even hotter than what appears to flow well.
It doesn’t smell when printing and many filaments are actually food-safe if printed right, it’s resistant against many chemicals including, surprise, glycol, the hard-tubing for PC watercooling.