The Scoop on ABS and PLA

By on January 21st, 2014 in Ideas, learning, materials, oc


Most personal 3D printers use PLA or ABS plastic, but how much do you actually know about these materials? Aside from the fact that ABS’s melting temperature is somewhat higher than PLA, and that ABS is somewhat stronger than PLA, most 3D printer owners could be challenged to say more. 
Don’t fear: there is a solution. All you need to do is check out UL IDES’s Prospector Materials Database, which provides very detailed information on over 86,000  plastics and 9,000 metals. In their data sheets you’ll find information on melting temperature, thermal shrinkage when molding, weights, flow rates, strengths, water absorption and much more. 
Sure, you may be able to successfully 3D print, but what if you want to experiment with different types of filaments? Perhaps you want to print an object for a specific application and need to know if the plastic will be suitable? For these and many more questions, just check out the database. You can get started by looking at the ABS and PLA pages. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!