PLA (polylactic acid) filament is a compostable thermoplastic that does not emit harmful fumes when heated. It has a lower melting point than ABS and does not require a heated build platform for printing. PLA is less flexible, more brittle, and less prone to warping than ABS. It is suitable for high-speed printing and is used for building consumer products or toys.
ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) filament resists impacts, has moderate flexibility, and is stronger than PLA filament. It has a high melting point and requires a heated build platform to prevent uneven shrinkage, layer distortion, or warping. ABS filament is petroleum-based and emits toxic fumes when heated. It is used for building moving parts, automotive components, and electronic housings.
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