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Author Topic: PLA-ABS  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline class27

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PLA-ABS
« on: March 03, 2017, 10:25:06 AM »
Hi guys,
                  I'm considering buying a 3d printer and was wondering if I should buy PLA or ABS filament for model railway prints. I've read somewhere not to go for nylon but don't know about any other ones.
Your advice will be much appreciated.
Thank you.
Ron

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Re: PLA-ABS
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 11:08:32 AM »
I'm certainly no expert, but I've just done a bit of reading around this, so here goes:

PLA is recommended for beginners, as you can get a small cheap printer and just get on with it. The plastic is biodegradable (made of stuff like corn starch), and not as strong as ABS.

ABS requires more sophisticated machinery (including things like a heated bed, that PLA doesn't need), and can be prone to warping, but it's stronger, and better for structural items, or things that are going to move and interact, like gears.

There's loads more to it, I suggest a good google session. I was tempted by a cheap PLA-only printer, but changed my mind on reading, and don't really have time to do the fiddling that seems required for ABS.
Tony

'...things are not done by those who sit down to count the cost of every thought and act.' - Sir Daniel Gooch of IKB

Offline NTrain

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Re: PLA-ABS
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 11:09:07 AM »
PLA is easier to work with, but is more brittle. The 3D printing process is more tolerant.

ABS is better for modelling purposes as it is generally the material used for injection moulded kits. (along with polystyrene.) You need to have a heated bed, good control of temperature and watch out for unwanted cool breezes.

Offline class27

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Re: PLA-ABS
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 12:16:21 PM »
Thanks for your replies. The printer I'm looking at has a heated bed and variable heat setting for the extruder so ABS would be the way to go then it seems.

Ron

Offline Only Me

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Re: PLA-ABS
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2017, 01:14:45 PM »
You also need to expect it not to print properly the first ten or twenty times as each print will require a tweak, unless you are going to spend £1000 up on a fully built and tested one, you end up buying the kit, making it, then starting to google upgrade parts; Print head coolers, extruder holders, better extruders, the list is endless... which you print on your printer, about 6 months down the line you may have something which is able to print in reasonable quality.  If you are looking at the £300-£400 ones available on ebay then remember these wise old words :-
"You Get What you Pay For"



Offline Mr Sprue

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Re: PLA-ABS
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2017, 08:28:11 PM »
Go along with NTrains advice, PLA will be the best option to start with. ABS needs to have a heated platform and kept warm through the printing process otherwise the print runs the risk of delaminating.

Offline daffy

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Re: PLA-ABS
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2017, 08:56:14 PM »
If PLA is used and is, as @Yet_Another says, biodegradable, do the finished models have what you might call a 'shelf life'? :hmmm:
Mike

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Re: PLA-ABS
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2017, 09:20:53 PM »
Again, I am not an expert, but it looks like it will degrade if in certain environments, such as the human body, or a compost heap, but otherwise not. It is insoluble in water.

The above gleaned from Wikipedia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polylactic_acid
Tony

'...things are not done by those who sit down to count the cost of every thought and act.' - Sir Daniel Gooch of IKB

Offline daffy

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Re: PLA-ABS
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2017, 10:05:30 PM »
Thanks Tony.  :thumbsup: I had visions of items slowly deteriorating over a few years. Or, like vacuum formed yoghurt pots over a heat source, returning to their pre-moulded state.
Mike

Sufferin' succotash!

Offline Mr Sprue

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Re: PLA-ABS
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2017, 10:43:05 PM »
If PLA is used and is, as @Yet_Another says, biodegradable, do the finished models have what you might call a 'shelf life'? :hmmm:


Like all plastics even Polypropylene the two biggest offenders are UV and harsh solvents.

 

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