With the majority of 3D printing still being done in plastic, a new member has joined the Association of 3D Printing – the 3D Printing Plastic Store. This new shop promises to be user friendly, have a great selection of plastics and even carry some of the less expensive printers ….all at discount prices.
This site plans to educate plastics users as well, as found in this article typical of their website:
PLA (short for polylactic acid) is a plastic made of renewable starches such as corn and sugarcane.
It is biodegradable and does not emit a lot of ultra fines particles (UFCs).
It produces a barely noticeable, but quite pleasant, sugary smell when extruding.
Depending on the specifications and the color, extrusion temperature can vary between 160 and 220 °C.
Parts printed using PLA are more rigid than ABS parts (ABS is more flexible).
In general, parts printed using PLA have a slightly glossy finish.
PLA is less prone to warping during print and is much more ‘stickier’ than ABS.
PLA starts to become malleable (heat deflection point) at around 60 °C.
PLA requires a bit more force to be extruded as it has a higher coefficient of friction than ABS.
PLA is a bit more recent in the history of FDM 3D printers and has a promising future.
ABS (short for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a common thermoplastic (LEGO blocks are made of ABS) that is essentially pretroleum based.
ABS is more prone to producing UFCs when compared to PLA. Good ventilation is recommended.
It produces a slight ‘burnt plastic’ smell when extruding.
Depending on the specifications and the color, extrusion temperature can vary between 220 and 260 degrees Celsius.
Parts printed using ABS have a “bend” to them and are less brittle than PLA.
In general, parts printed using ABS have a glossier finish than PLA parts.
ABS starts to become malleable (heat deflection point) at around 100 °C (which makes it more heat resistant than PLA).
ABS has a lower coefficient of friction than PLA and requires slightly less force to be extruded than PLA.
ABS can be considered the “legacy” type of filament since it was used for 3D printing before PLA.
Why 1.75 mm?
As the filament is lighter per unit of length, the extruder motor displaces less mass.
Filament with a smaller diameter can be heated faster (as it takes less time for the heat to reach the center) so you can print faster.
It allows for slightly more compact hot end designs.
The smaller nozzles allows for a more precise plastic flow control and reduces the risk of oozing.
Being smaller, it is also more flexible and can be coiled more tightly and turn sharper corners.
Force required by the extruder to push the plastic in the estruder is less because less pressure builds up in the nozzle.
Additionally, viewers should find “how to” videos and articles to use their 3D Printers more effectively.