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ABS vs PLA print quality

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If quality means how they look, I would say both. It is rather a matter of knowing how to get "the best" out of your printer. Obviously, the printer should be equipped to support the material (particularly bed adhesion and temperatures might be of concern).

If quality refers to mechanical characteristics, I would say both, but depends on the application :)

 

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As 3DMaker4U suggests, it all depends, especially based on the mechanical properties you need. That being said...

In my experience typically PLA is capable of capturing finer details. It also prints with a more glossy finish, whereas ABS prints with more of a matte finish that can sort of blur fine details out a bit. The glossiness of PLA can also bring out more subtle flaws and artifacts though, like 'ringing' from acceleration.

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And of course ABS can be left in a car with the windows rolled up on a hot summer day. PLA can't. If it's hot enough to kill a human, it's probably hot enough to destroy a PLA print.

 

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Post processing of ABS is easier. But printing ABS is more difficult. Adhesion is more error prone and the shrinkage is also a concern.

The details don't shine out as much as PLA does. Glueing ABS is easier.

So it really depends on what you need.

 

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