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Printrbot Talk Forum • View topic - Distinguish pla from abs

Distinguish pla from abs

Talk about materials used in 3D printing

Distinguish pla from abs

Postby EddB » 2014-Aug-Sat-16-Aug

Tried for over an hour to get a new filament to stick to my bed. Checked and rechecked and the bed height is perfect. Measured and reset the diameter over and over. Cleaned the bed repeatedly (iso alcohol) . I had remnants of my old pla rolls with no flaws or problem sticking. Used same settings for the new roll. First layer was 210° with bed at 60°. It would lay a nice new line as it lifted the previous line and melted/gummed up around the nozzle. Real gummy and the buildup around the nozzle was actually burning if it remained to long. (brown color on white filament.). Haven't really seen that with pla.
It was like it was hardened before adhering to the heatbed. Just no stick at all. It's real gummy and hard to clean off a hot nozzle. But won't remain stuck to the 60° heated bed once hardened a bit. It's seems like it's attracted to the hotend.
I can't tell the difference by smell (allergies) and I haven't printed with abs before. Wife says it smell plastic while the known PLA rolls smell edible.. (haven't tried that yet... Hehe).
I went out and got a new spool of pla. Tried it without even adjusting the diameter. Of course it is flawless, even next to impossible to remove from the bed.
It leads me to think the problem roll might be ABS that amazon shipped incorrectly. Only name brand and color listed on the roll, no description of whether it is pla or not. A brand I have used quite often without problem. Is there any way to tell if it is PLA or ABS plastic?
Thanks for any help.
Ed
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Re: Distinguish pla from abs

Postby RetireeJay » 2014-Aug-Sat-20-Aug

I know this has been answered before, but I can't find the right thread.

ABS is soluble in acetone; PLA is not. I seem to recall that they behave differently if they are heated with a candle flame, but I don't remember the answer. The smell (if you have a functioning nose) is really, really different: melting PLA has like a slightly overheated popcorn smell; melting ABS has a very distinctly chemical smell.
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Re: Distinguish pla from abs

Postby KDog » 2014-Aug-Sat-21-Aug

PLA is also more brittle than ABS. ABS flexes when you bend it, if you bend PLA too far it will break.
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Re: Distinguish pla from abs

Postby passion4profession » 2014-Oct-Tue-01-Oct

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Re: Distinguish pla from abs

Postby musk » 2014-Oct-Tue-11-Oct

The color of ABS turns white when you bend it. PLA doesn't really do this. Crease a few samples of raw filament and you'll learn what to look for.
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