ABS or PLA

Hardware talk for newbies: questions, advice etc

ABS or PLA

Postby Radioman1017 » 2015-Jan-Thu-14-Jan

I just got a Pintrbot Simple Metal and need to order more filament. Should I order PLA or ABS? I'll be using Amazon, if that makes any difference.

Thanks,

Mark
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ABS or PLA

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Re: ABS or PLA

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Jan-Thu-14-Jan

What do you want to do with it?

If you don't have a heated bed, then you can't print ABS, so stick with PLA. If you do, then try both.

ABS is stronger and more heat resistant, and it's slightly flexible It's easier to get a nice surface finish with acetone vapor smoothing (search is your friend...). PLA is stiffer but melts at a lower temperature, sometimes low enough it'll soften in a hot car (not a problem here, this time of year...). You can vapor smooth it, but it's tricky. There's posts here about using a MEK substitute. Either one can be painted.

If you like experimenting and seeing what your printer will do, by all means try both. If you're more interested in just printing things than dinking with the printer, then stick with what you already have (I'd guess that's PLA) until you're ready to try something else. If you're not sure then stick with the current stuff and defer a decision until later.

I have and use both, but since I have more PLA on hand that's what I normally use.

Watch out for cheap filament. Sometimes it works, sometimes it'll cause far more headaches than it's worth, and when you're first starting you'll find enough headaches :) . Get the good stuff - Printrbot's is one of them, and it'll be like the sample they sent you. Don't get a lot of it until you know what you want to do, and save worrying about saving a few bucks until a later order; the extra frustration can be enough to make you put your bot on the shelf and complain about how much you wasted on it, and you'll forget that you saved a few dollars. One spool can go a long way if you're not into mass production, and it'll let you learn about how your printer works (they're all a little bit different) without the hassle of dealing with different types of filament. Even different colors from the same vendor can take slightly different temperatures and speeds, and when you're learning it's better to cut down on the variables. I'd suggest picking a bright color that you like to start with.

And buy yourself a few sticks of Elmer's Washable School Glue, WallyWorld's a good source if you have one nearby. It'll make things stick well, and you can worry about more exotic bed sticking methods later.

Kirk
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Re: ABS or PLA

Postby Radioman1017 » 2015-Jan-Thu-18-Jan

Good info. Thanks Kirk!

Mark
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Re: ABS or PLA

Postby dsegel » 2015-Jan-Thu-20-Jan

If you're new to 3D printing, I'd recommend sticking to PLA for now. It's much easier to work with, and doesn't smell or emit noxious fumes.
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Re: ABS or PLA

Postby Josephwillian » 2017-May-Tue-02-May

Both filaments have their own properties. It depends upon the application for which you want filament. In ABS & PLA, filaments of different diameters, colors are present in the market. But for beginners, PLA is recommended.
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Re: ABS or PLA

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-May-Tue-12-May

@josephwillian, please tell us about your Printrbot printer. What model do you have? Or are you planning to buy a Printrbot?
In your posts to the forum, please strive to either ask a meaningful question, or to make a positive contribution to the community by sharing your experience or specific knowledge.
Saying
Josephwillian wrote:Both filaments have their own properties. It depends upon the application for which you want filament.

is really quite un-informative and more characteristic of spammers on this forum than serious users of the forum. Also, adding to a thread that's been inactive for two years isn't likely to help the original poster.
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