Video How to choose between PLA vs. ABS?

Hello, today we’re live from Kimya, an Armor group company, to discuss 3D printing materials, specifically the two main ones: PLA and ABS. PLA and ABS are commonly used filaments in 3D printing.

Esthetically, they’re similar; they’re affordable, easy to print, and what’s more, they come in many colors.

What are the key differences?

  • PLA offers useful resistance and rigidity. It’s also biodegradable and easy to print. That said, it’s fragile and has certain functional limitations.
  • ABS has more desirable properties and can be applied in higher temperatures. Basically, ABS is more resistant to stretching and it’s more lightweight. However, always remember ABS is a more toxic and odorous material. So, only use it in protected environments.

How to choose between them?

Your PLA vs ABS decision also depends on the printer you’re using.

  • For open-plan consumer and office printers, use PLA to produce good quality parts.
  • For more “professional” printers with a closed enclosure, heating plate, nozzle and high temperature levels, ABS is the solution you want for quality parts. ABS has the advantage of producing better post-processing with neater finising for your objects.

Who are the main users?

  • PLA is the preferred option for private individuals. As demonstrated, it’s easy to print in many colors and does the job for simple applications, especially small everyday accessories and decorative objects. On the flip side, ABS is the go-to solution for professionals thanks to its resistance and durability.
  • ABS delivers multiple value-added services, particularly for tooling and components.

What are the main uses?

  • PLA is a widely used material, notably for miniatures. With PLA, you can easily design a small object and print it yourself. PLA also lets you develop more sophisticated objects, including prototypes validating part sizes. PLA also has the capabilities to create everyday items like decorative objects and small accessories for modeling.
  • Conversely, ABS isn’t really used in industry. Instead, it’s used for functional and structural parts and to help with assemblies and templates. Clearly, PLA and ABS benefit from numerous potential applications, catering to your every need and use.

Again, for the record, PLA and ABS are the two most widely used materials in 3D printing.


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