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PLA vs ABS - The tale of two Thermoplastics

General Tips & Tricks for printing with PLA filaments

The printing temperature guideline for printing with our PLA filament is approximately 210ºC. As each desktop 3D printer has its own unique characteristics, you might need to tweak around with your temperature settings a bit to get the best results. To obtain optimal results for your prints you need to take into account variables like your 3D printer's nozzle diameter, your printing speed settings, and layer height.

PLA has much less tendency to warp compared to ABS. Therefore it can be printed both with and without a heated print bed. However, if your desktop 3D printer does have a heated print bed it is recommended to set your print bed temperature to approximately 40º to 50º C.

A good first layer adhesion is of the utmost importance in obtaining the best results for your prints. There are several tricks to get the first layer of your PLA print to stick better to the print bed of your 3D printer.

  • Blue Masking Tape. PLA prints usually stick really well to blue masking tape. When preparing the print bed it is better to have tiny gaps between your strokes of masking tape, rather than having overlaps.
  • Overlaps of smaller pieces of tape may cause difficulties later on during the print process. We have tested a wide variety of masking tapes and found that the best results can be obtained with Eurocel Blue Masking Tape.
  • Coat your print bed with hairspray. Like ABS, PLA has a tendency to stick really well to extra strong hairsprays.
  • Blue masking tape is unlikely to leave a residue on your print bed. A hairspray coating however will leave a residue on your print bed.

General Tips & Tricks for printing with ABS filaments

The printing temperature guideline for printing with our Premium ABS filament is approximately 235ºC to 256ºC. As each desktop 3D printer has its own unique characteristics, you might need to tweak around with your temperature settings a bit to obtain the best results. To obtain optimal results for your prints you need to take into account variables like your 3D printer's nozzle diameter, your printing speed settings, and layer height.

It is recommended to use a heated print bed when printing ABS. ABS has a tendency to warp, which makes it a difficult material to print without a heated print bed. Ideally your print bed temperature should be set at approximately 80º to 110 º C. Please note that ABS will bend under too much heat, so after the first few layers, it's best to turn down your print bed temperature a bit.

A good first layer adhesion is of the utmost importance in obtaining the best results for your prints. There are several tricks to get the first layer of your ABS print to stick better to the print bed of your 3D printer.

  • Use polyimide tape (Kapton tape or PET tape). ABS prints usually stick better to polyimide tape than to the print bed. When preparing the print bed it is better to have small gaps between your strokes of tape, rather than having overlaps. Overlaps of smaller pieces of tape may cause difficulties later on during the print process.
  • Coat your print bed with hairspray. ABS has a tendency to stick really well to extra strong hairsprays.
  • Coat your print bed with ABS juice. Dissolve a little peace of ABS in 50ml of Acetone. The acetone should get slightly cloudy. To make the surface of your print bed more sticky, you can lightly coat your print bed with this cloudy ABS/Acetone mixture. Please make sure not to use too much ABS in your juice as it will make your prints stick too well and be extremely difficult to remove.
  • PET tape and Kapton tape are unlikely to leave a residue on your print bed.
  • Hairspray and ABS/Acetone juice coatings will leave a residue on your print bed.

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