Posts Tagged ‘ABS disadvantages

makerbot-replicator-2-2x-pla-vs-abs

This seems to be a question we are getting quite often from people. The ABS filament used for 3D printers has some advantages over PLA filament, however it also has some additional requirements from the 3D printer in order to get good and problem free results. The main problem that ABS has is that it does not stick well to cold build platforms and as a result the bottom of the 3D printed part gets warped, other than that a normal 3D printer designed for PLA materials could handle ABS as well. Printing on such 3D printer meant for PLA filament using ABS and including a Raft material can somewhat help in getting a better print, however the material will still warp if you do not have a heated build platform. So essentially what differentiates 3D printers designed for ABS from those meant for use with PLA filaments is the heated build platform – something that is needed by ABS, but not by PLA. Do note however that even with a 3D printer designed to support ABS filaments and with heated build platform you can still experience the printer 3D filament warping at the edges if the conditions are not right. This is precisely the reason why many people prefer the use of PLA filaments instead of ABS, even if their 3D printer does have support for ABS as well.

Using ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) filament gives you a harder and more durable object that is also more temperature resistant than PLA. With ABS you can usually go over 100 degrees Celsius before the 3D printer part starts to soften unlike 65-70 with PLA. The parts printed from ABS however are often harder to print with good results (not to have warping and curling) from the first try and the 3D printed object may not turn out to be as detailed as when using PLA filament. Another thing to be careful when using ABS filaments – make sure that the printer is in well ventilated area as the fumes produced when melting the filament are not so safe to breath whereas the ones form PLA should not be a problem. So there are some advantages and some disadvantages for both PLA and ABS filaments, and it really depends on what you are going to be using the 3D printer objects when deciding what material you should go for. If you are going to need to work with ABS materials however make sure you plan that before you decide on a 3D printer and go for a one that supports ABS and has a heated build platform as this could save you a lot of headaches, even though the device will be a bit more expensive. For some 3D printers there are also options to upgrade the build platform with a heated one if originally the device did not come with such and thus become able to support ABS as well.


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