The most important part of 3d printing is to use the right material for it. When it comes to choosing the right material, then we have to consider some factors like strength, flexibility, special conditions, and accuracy. ABS and PLA are two common materials which are used for 3D printing. PLA vs ABS: Both the materials have their own pros and cons which makes it even more difficult to determine the best option.
PLA vs ABS: Which One is Best
If you are having the same trouble, then don’t worry, we have listed some of the differences below which will help you to decide the right option for you.
1. PLA vs ABS: Accuracy
Basically, the Accuracy of the material depends on the working and capabilities of the printer which you are using for printing. However, both the materials can be used in the process of dimensional printing and it can print details down to 0.8 mm. Due to the cool temperature, while printing, PLA can be printed easily and can even print the corners, whereas the ABS material cannot be printed easily. In short, PLA is more accurate and a little bit easier to print as compared to ABS.
2. ABS vs PLA: Biodegradability
The PLA will remain stable in the atmosphere and will take more than 48 months to degrade in water. Contrary to this, ABS isn’t degradable, but it can be recycled. Basically, the PLA is mostly used for the formation of food-related items, whereas the ABS can’t be used for this purpose and also it’s not even recommended by the filament manufacturers to produce food-related items using it.
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3. PLA vs ABS: Glass Transition Temperature
PLA has a very low glass transition temperature which means that the items formulated using the PLA will start to soften if placed in a high temperature. The low glass transition temperature has its own pros and cons depending on the situation. On the other hand, ABS has a high glass transition temperature which means the item will not begin to soften even if they are placed in a high-temperature situation. So, the ABS items are much likely to hold their shapes over a long period of time.
4. ABS vs PLA: Strength
Both the ABS and PLA have a relatively same strength which makes them adequate for almost every prototype application. ABS is often preferred for the formation of items because it has a high glass transition temperature which makes it a solid material as compared to PLA. Also, both of them are popular for their own uses. 3D Printed items using the ABS material are employed for end use applications, whereas the PLA is preferred for rapid prototype when the form is crucial than function.
PLA vs ABS: Which One is the Right Option?
Currently, there is no cheat sheet to decide which plastic is the best option for 3D printing. Both have their own pros and cons as well as uses. So, if you are a beginner and don’t have any experience or skills in formulating complex things, then you should opt for PLA. On the other hand, if you have experience in this field and you are looking for the best plastic material for 3D printing, then the ABS will be the right option for you.