The ABS filament is manufactured from a mixture of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. This blend results in an extremely durable and impact resistant, as well as rigid product. On the other hand, the PLA filament is manufactured with polylactic acid, which is more flexible than ABS.

For optimum printing, the ABS filament requires a warm bed and higher processing temperatures than the PLA filament. Both filaments can be cut, sanded or glued after printing, however, although acetone can be used to achieve a smoother surface with ABS prints, acetone can not be used with the PLA filament.

ABS filaments usually have a satin finish but an opaque appearance at the same time. PLA filaments offer transparent qualities.

Both the ABS filament and PLA have their uses; When buying a filament, think carefully about the equipment you will use and the end use of your printing design. Does your printer have a warm bed? Otherwise, the PLA filament could be a better choice. Does your print design need to be stiff and durable? You should consider the ABS filament, which is used to make the LEGO blocks.

How to Select a 3D Printing Strand

Filament diameterThe 3D printing filaments have two common diameters of 1.75 mm and 3 mm. Most commercial printers today are designed to work with one diameter or the other. Always check the specifications of your printer manufacturer to determine what diameter is compatible with your machine.

Diameter Accuracy / Accuracy

Always look for filament manufacturers that publish their tolerance margins with respect to diameter. The stricter the margin of tolerance, the more consistent and accurate the results of printing. Verbatim 3D printing filaments are manufactured to a tolerance of +/- 0.05 mm or less – to ensure stable prints, with a constant supply.

Spool Vs. Coil and design

It is easier to work with spool than with reels. They are stored more easily, are mounted in a practical way and distribute the material evenly and consistently. However not all spools are manufactured in the same way. Verbatim 3D filaments spools are specially designed to provide solidity and ensure uniform filament supply, resulting in consistent, high-quality printing.

Limitations of the printer

Does your printer have a warm bed? Is the bed platform capable of reaching 100 ° C? These are aspects to consider when buying 3D printing filaments. The ABS filament provides much better results when used with a warm bed – ideally between 80 – 120 ° C. The filament sticks better to the printing bed when temperatures are within those levels. If your printer does not have a hot bed printing, you should consider using PLA filaments.

Printing environment

Being a material of plant origin, the PLA tends to emanate less vapors than the ABS material. Depending on your printing environment, this might be a factor to consider. Printers should be used in well ventilated environments and we recommend the use of suitable respirators as protection against gases and particles that may be emitted during the printing process.

What is the difference between the ABS filament and the PLA filament?