so PLA or ABS which is better well it's actually a little bit more complicated than that how's it going guys leg is here from makers muse so if you've got an F DN 3d printer this is a question you're going to ask yourself which material should I print with abs or PLA there are other plastics but by far the most common two will be abs and PLA and there's actually significant differences between these two types of plastics they each have their own advantages and disadvantages so knowing which to use in your printer is actually pretty important and also known which princelings to use is critical so ABS stands for aqua nitrile butadiene styrene has actually known as a turd polymer which means it's made up of three different monomers that is polarizing styrene aconite roll and poly butylene so the styrene by itself is actually quite quite shiny and nice but it's actually quite brittle so with the addition of the the rubbers that actually makes ABS quite tough and and resilient so these properties of ABS that makes it very attractive in industry for use in stuff like car bumpers and also consumable electronic cases and things like that and also Lego Legos made from ABS so you get a repeatable and satisfying snap between LEGO pieces each time that's only possible because the ABS has a bit of flex to it but it's also very dimensionally stable so 3d printed ABS paths are characteristically very tough and make great functional prototypes and it's due to the slightly flexible nature of the plastic also removing support material is actually quite easy because the material will flex and allow support material to pull away when you're printing with same plastic support types like single extruder machines like the up person for example so it's a very good plastic doing that abs are generally extruded between 220 and 260 degrees C depending on the filament brand for example the up Brad abs actually extremes at a higher temperature as around 260 270 degrees because I put in a temperature modifier but standard generic abs you're looking at around 240 maybe but usually 220 is a good place to start so it's fairly high but not too high compared to something like a nylon or such so it's ready printing with ABS sounds great right while to use anything else well there's some significant drawbacks and that's because ABS has a fairly high shrinkage ratio so that means when it goes from molten two hardened and solemn cooled down naturally shrinks on itself so if you print a part layer by layer this shrinkage factor can actually accumulate over the layers you end up with the dreaded thing that's called warping so anyone who's had a 3d printer printing ABS will know what warping is so the parts start to lift up from the corners the part starts to fail pull off the bed all sorts of nastiness even if you get the face to stick down well enough you actually might get something called delamination where the layers halfway up the print actually physically rip apart because those forces have become so strong so fighting this warping is actually quite difficult for ABS prints so a lot of ABS printers on the sort of low-end hobby side tend to be quite small because there's less warping to get any bigger you need what's called a build oven where the entire chamber is actually heated to around 90 degrees or so the part is printed then the whole chamber cools uniformly so on a low-end hobby machine you need what's known as a heated bed so you print on a heated bed and if you have an enclosed chamber you might get some passive heating but to print anything bigger then perhaps 250 250 without an actual active heating element inside and a proper heating enclosure you're not going to get very good abs prints the shrinkage on the part is just too high in terms of environmental concerns abs is made from non-renewable resources as petroleum plastic so it it isn't that great it also has quite a sort of smell to it when you're printing with it it's not that pleasant so although abs is very strong you don't really want to be printing it in a room where a lot of people over that sort of ventilation because it does get quite with you it does vary between almost unnoticeable to oh my god evacuate the room it's so smelly kind of thing which is some plastic I've come across the parts and depends on the manufacturer but yeah abs does have a slight smell to it and it is made from non-renewable resources it can be recycled but because you're printing things they're not marked it's not marked plastics so most countries don't have a system in place to recycle non mark plastics you might want to make your own filament re extruder to recycle it but really in my line of work it tends to just go in the bin which is really sad but we don't have anywhere else to put it so what about PLA PLA or poly lactic acid is a completely renewable plastic made from starch so tapioca or sugar cane so although it was invented the 1920s not in the last 20 years or so that's actually started to really replace you know in our world what we sort of call like consumable plastics so shopping bags you know plastic cups plates you replace a picnic cutlery stuff like that because it's a completely biodegradable plastic you actually break it down completely which is really nice and it's made from completely renewable resources so it's very different to the sort of petroleum-based plastics like the ABS and for 3d printing PLA is a perfect beginners plastic it comes in lots of vibrant colors even though the sort of natural PLA has a really nice translucent look to it and it's very easy to print with it suffers from a fraction of the morphing problems that abs does needs a very very sort of cool environment to print with you wanna cool down quickly so you have a fan in the ends of the print area and you don't even need a heated bed to print with the PLA so a lot of very low end printers are PLA only because you don't need a heated bed whereas with ABS you do it extrudes at a lower temperature than abs as well you're looking at something like 180 to 220 degrees C so that's much lower than abs and it's also actually pretty much a food safe and non-toxic plastic as well it also has a really nice smell to it when you're printing with PLA a cheap sort of smells like popcorn or pancakes compared to just like chemicals that are the sort of petroleum-based plastic smell like when you're extruding them but here the downsides PLA is very brittle and I'm talking very brittle in some cases and so when you're printing with PLA and you're doing say material support so PLA supports as well sometimes it can be very difficult to remove these supports because it's no flex in the join between the support and the main body of the part also when you're moving these supports it can be very dangerous sometimes because if it's shatters that you can break off ping into people's eyes and leave very sharp edges that can actually cut you so PLA can actually be quite dangerous in that regard so this isn't the whole story of course there are modified PL A's on the market now so stuff like poly Maxx is a PLA with a sort of strength modifier in it so it's actually stronger than ABS but it just doesn't defeat my one pet peeve about PLA and that is it has a very low glass transition temperature what it means is PLA will soften quite a quite a low temperature you know you're looking at sort of in your boot car-boot on a hot summer day your PLA prints will start to soften the form and sometimes melt because it just cannot withstand those temperatures so in terms of printing things for outdoor use or use in hot environments like hot water contact PLA just isn't going to cut it even the modified PLA s will still soften the very low temperature and start to deform lose their shape on the other end the spectrum as well when parts get very cold PLA becomes even more brittle to the point where it can actually shatter violently and it also will slowly degrade in contact with air and UV light and such so if you have an appeal a roll you need to use it fairly quickly because loves or moisture become very brittle and will become so brittle in some cases it'll actually start snapping off the rolls it feeds into the printer which is not what you want so as I said printing with PLA is very easy you just need to stick it down and cool it very quickly so something like build tackler platform doesn't even need to be heated if it is heated you're looking at 40 degrees C as a max I reckon and you want to cool the parts quickly so it's like the opposite of pit of abs you want to just cool ABS slowly whereas PLA you want to call it quickly so in terms of print definition you can actually get sharper lines with a twith PLA prints compared to ABS prints but the strength isn't going to be as high so after all that I'm going to test here I've got one shot printed and abs and one shot credit in PLA and the two different colors red and green and when PLA and abs are set up properly in your printer that should be very hard to tell the two apart so PLA you tend to get more stringing between parts so you might see a bit more string because stopping the extrusion can be a bit harder with PLA ABS you might see less definition or sharp edges because it tends to round them over whereas PLA can leave quite well-defined edges but without actually feeling the part it can be quite difficult to tell alright so say you have a roll of plastic you don't know if it's abs or PLA the way you want to test it initially is just to grab some and see if it breaks and see how it breaks so that broke fairly easily although to be fair it broke along where the look gears had grabbed its a break a bit further back okay so PLA will break very quickly if it's cool and you just snap it and it goes crack especially three mil three mil PLA filament if it goes snap you know it's it's you know it's PLA rares what this filament just did is it's doing what's called a ductile failure it's basically the plastics crazing and weakening each time I bend it to the point where it's actually very hard to break and you have to go around a couple of times and trying to work it off and that that broke but it was very difficult so I will bet my money on this being abs because abs has more strength and flexibility to it compared to PLA so it's not the full story it may be poly Maxx for example you might have poly Maxx so the one sure way you can test it is get some acetone so you get a little little cup of acetone and drop some of the filament into the acetone so if I drop this in and it dissolves then it's abs abs dissolves completely into acetone if I drop it in and it doesn't dissolve then it's PLA PLA is completely unaffected by acetone so it's a really really conclusive test to see if it is abs or PLA and just to throw another spanner in the works it may be a different plastic like PE T or nylon or it may be sold as ABS but actually have something else in it so it might not completely dissolve into acetone these are just some cases that I've come across in the past but generally if it does dissolve its abs so you're pretty safe for that test and then you can go on to do your printing parameters accordingly so there you have it guys hopefully have clarified a few things about printing and abs on PLA let me know in the comments which one you think is abs and which one you think is PLA so I'm going to grab it closer is this shark and here's this one I think with the lighter that pretty much just gave it away don't worry about the bases well you can print PLA and abs on to build tag so don't use that as your reasoning and thanks for watching guys and looking for to seeing you here again see Andrew makers Muse if you enjoyed this video if you found it useful definitely consider subscribing because I like to make these tutorial videos to help you guys print and design things easier and sort of pass my knowledge on to you because I do this stuff pretty much every day and I really enjoy doing it so thanks watching guys really appreciate it so you're gonna hear soon on makers means see ya you
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