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PLA and ABS are of very similar strength. Many people claim ABS is stronger but in my experience it is very difficult to print ABS as strong as PLA. ABS and XT (PET) have layer adhesion issues because if you print them just slightly too cold the layers don't bond well and parts split along layer lines. This isn't a problem because PLA melts at a much lower temperature.

The main difference between ABS and PLA is the melting temperature and that explains everything - because PLA doesn't get solid until around 55C there is much less shrinking/warping even though both plastics have almost identical density/temp graphs. It's because you don't have to worry about shrinking until it is a solid.

Many people claim PLA is more brittle than ABS - for example Taulman is a manufacture that claims it has a PLA as flexible as ABS. But I tried their PLA and I have found that all good quality PLA brands are just as flexible or almost as flexible and that all brands seem to add some thing to make PLA slightly more flexible than pure PLA.

As a result, PLA is the easiest and most popular printing material. The only drawback to PLA is it's low melting temperature which makes it useless for anything going inside an automobile because of the potential extreme temperatures. also PLA can't be used for cups that hold coffee or tea yet ABS can.

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