Print with ABS or PETG?

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Print with ABS or PETG?

Postby olendorf » 2015-Dec-Thu-09-Dec

Hi, Getting a heated bed for my Simple Metal soon. I'm looking forward to being able to print some other materials. From what I have read so far it almost seems like ABS is going out of favor and PETG or PETT seems to be better than ABS in lots of ways. Should I even bother with ABS or should I go straight to a PETG or T-Glase type of material? I really don't need to buy a roll of ABS and trudge through hours of learning curve getting it to work if I'm ultimately going to abandon it in favor of some better material anyway.

Scott Olendorf
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Print with ABS or PETG?



Re: Print with ABS or PETG?

Postby RetireeJay » 2015-Dec-Thu-11-Dec

I instantly gave up on ABS after printing one part because of the smell. Same with PLA.

I spent a long time printing with nylon. It has some desirable properties. It's odorless to my nose, although it does seem to give off some white "smoke" when printing that does accumulate slowly on nearby surfaces (I noticed that when cleaning a nearby window). Nylon is very tough, meaning resistant to breaking. It's somewhat flexible, but depending on how thick you make the parts it can be quite strong and almost rigid if you need it to be. However, it's quite tricky to find a good bed for adhesion. My last, best, attempt is using glue stick on top of glass, heated to 75 or 80C. Nylon is just about impervious to glues and paints. It absorbs moisture from the air, so you need to keep it in a dry chamber for storage. But the worst thing about nylon is that it oozes from the nozzle big time, even when you are not pushing it. Perhaps one of the newer metal nozzle types with a very small hot zone ameliorates that problem to some extent.

I've printed several pounds of T-Glase. It is not as flexible as nylon, but it is surprisingly strong. If you bend it too far, it will break rather than bend. I've never worried about moisture absorption from the air when using T-Glase. It will ooze a little, but nowhere near as bad as nylon. It's a little friendlier to glues and paints. I print it on a glass bed with glue stick at 70C. If it doesn't stick, then I know I need to refresh the surface - at least by cleaning, perhaps with more glue stick. When the crud gets too thick on the glass, I take the glass plate off and wash all glue off in the kitchen sink to start over. T-Glase used to be transparent/translucent, but now there is an opaque white option. Parts made with the translucent versions of T-Glase seem to look a little more "textured" than parts I've seen made with opaque materials.
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
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Re: Print with ABS or PETG?

Postby plexus » 2015-Dec-Thu-11-Dec

On the other hand, there's an arm (that's what my dad would say). I am an ABS user. I like it. I typically use PLA for most things but if I need more flexibility I will print in ABS. For me, it has minimal to no smell. I have had people over while printing ABS and queried them and they also can't smell it with the printer printing in the same 14'x20' room with minimal ventilation. however people's sensitivity to ABS varies - as you know RetireeJay can't tolerate it which is similar to other people. The other plastics are also good for sure. ABS is inexpensive. get a spool of ABS and try it. I, like others, had a challenging time getting a workflow that works with ABS reliably but eventually I figured it out and now I can print ABS with no more fuss than PLA. but you are right that there are other perhaps better alternatives. the only reason to use ABS is because its inexpensive and flexible. if you don't need the flexibility then there are much easier materials to print with such as PLA. Nylon is great but its much harder to work with due to bed adhesion, ooze and cost but if you need strength and lots of flexibility nylons are a good bet too.
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Re: Print with ABS or PETG?

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Dec-Fri-09-Dec

The first Printrbots came with a coil of ABS, a heated bed, and no cooling fan. This newfangled PLA came along later.

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