Industrial Machines

Which Printing Element Should You Use for Your 3D Printing Machine?

There are several types of materials that can have practical application and be used by your 3D printing machine. Both PLA (aliphatic polyester) and ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) are thermoplastics, which means to say that they are malleable and tend to display this kind of physical property when they are superheated. Thus, you have the liberty to shape them into various forms and shapes prior to their cooling. 

Unlike laser printers and inkjet printing machine, they make use of toner cartridges and printer ink cartridges to make them dispense print medium. In the case of 3D printers, they make use of thermoplastics instead and they are dispensed via a reel thru a heated nozzle. This will help form the object you are trying to print in 3D. The plastic used here is referred to as a filament.  

The ABS Filament

ABS is a qualified oil-based plastic. The practical applications for this type of thermoplastic can be seen in the manufacturing of car parts and components, Lego building blocks, musical instruments, various other materials that need to have a good level of sturdiness.

One of the key features of an ABS filament is they have a high melting point. This signifies that there is a high chance of warping if you will allow them to cool down while the printing process is still ongoing. Therefore, you need to carry out this type of printing on a heated surface. Normally, home use printers don’t have this. 

In addition, you also need to make sure that the area is properly ventilated, the reason being is that it is likely for 3D printing machine will give off offensive fumes while the printing equipment is in use. 

PLA Filament

Compared to ABS, we can say that PLA filament materials are way easier to use and a bit more environment-friendly in the sense that they are made from organic materials, usually from sugarcane and cornstarch. 

PLA filaments are reputed to give your 3D printed objects with shinier and smoother appearance, making them more aesthetically pleasing on the eye. They also tend to give off a sweeter odor when heated. This kind of fume is more tolerable to the smell as opposed that being exuded by ABS filament material.

Whilst these fine attributes of PLA filament materials make it look like they are a far better overall choice above everything else compared to ABS filaments, it comes with a far lower melting point.

Parts that are 3D printed using PLA filament are usually finding their practical use and applications in mechanical operations. Although these materials seem like they are much weaker compared to ABS, PLA filaments can easily reach a very outstanding level of print details. Add to that, they are not very prone to errors while the printing process is ongoing.  

Metal Filament

What are metal filaments? Can metals really find a practical application in 3D printing technology? Yes, and metal filaments are made from finely ground metals. They are usually combined with PLA filament with polymer glue for adhesion purposes, and to further enhance the strength of the 3D printed object. 

This signifies that metal filaments work in such a way that is very much similar to PLA. Perhaps the main distinction that both filaments have against each other is that the look of the final product for a metal filament will give you the look, the impression and the feel of metal when you give it the final polishing process. 

Metal filaments can work with many different standard printers, for as long as it supports PLA filament, then it is good to go with that.  


In carrying out a printing procedure in your 3D printing machine,bear in mind that these materials require utmost care, the reason being that the print layers will not stick to each other much like how normal PLA does. 

Additionally, they have a tendency to become brittle. The conductive graphene part is likely to break apart if you will bend them, so much so that they are no longer capable of conducting electricity. You can bring out the best in them just by using them alongside normal PLA filament.