Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
Sign in to follow this  

What to expect from PLA

Recommended Posts

After quite a bit of experimenting, I'm getting very good, detailed prints from PLA.

Time to try ABS!

How good (or bad) detail should I be expecting, or aiming for?

So far have tried various temperatures, 260/90 at start lowering to 240/90

ABS juice works well on the table, Detail is nowhere near the detail I was getting with PLA! Am I chasing the impossible, or should I be seeing better results?

Pic shows:all items 0.15 layer height, 50mm/s

ABS= ultimaker Yellow, ragged finish!

Blue & red ultimaker PLA, really good finish, the red base is deliberately grooved!

PLA ABS comparison


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Use the gallery function for uploading pictures:

--> Your username in the upper right corner --> My Gallery

I don't like printing ABS. It stinks, it's difficult to print with and the results are mediocre because ABS warps much more than most other 3D-printing plastics.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have to politely disagree with Jonny. I have MUCH more success printing with ABS vs. PLA. It's just more forgiving, easier to post process, prints faster and thicker, and the parts are generally better for what I do (prototyping).

ABS does shrink, but a good design (model) will compensate for shrinkage.

I can say this, when I set a long ABS print up, I just print and forget. When I'm printing with PLA, I tend to check in on the print every hour or so.

Don't get me wrong, some of the most detailed prints I've produced so far have been with PLA, but for virtually every other category, ABS is a go-to material for me.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Solid you should look at PLA-HT then.... practicaly combines the good of PLA with the good of ABS.... with only one downside.... printbed adhesion.... but i am sure i will have the solution in the next week or so. Atleast i hope so..... if i am able to overcome this problem this is a practically flawless material.


you should maybe take a look at the so called Smart ABS... never had that material but it is supposed to have a smaller shrinkage which would hopefully enable you to allow 100% fanspeed without letting the Print crack.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What I like about ABS is that it's supposed to be more stable in an outside environment, also for prototyping I think from my experience with it so far, prefer its machining qualities, Think this is important where a complicated shape can be printed, followed by a minimum of machining on critical surfaces and holes. Kind of like prototyping with watercut parts!

Just hoped for a better finish than can be seen in picture above!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did some more testing with PLA ABS, threading and machining!

My results:

(1) PLA and ABS Will machine very well, , only difficulty with ABS is that it's slippery and can easily slip in the chuck.

(2) PLA and ABS will Thread internally and externally successfully, suggest slow tapping with frequent backing off and clearing threads! PLA does not distort in the chuck (at moderate pressures) means that threading can be fairly accurate! M8 for instance, using a 6.85mm tapping drill will equal a 70% thread engagement, whereas ABS (shown in pic) will yeald/deform during threading, returning slightly afterwards, so in the example shown 6.9mm tapping drill = 65% tread engagement gave a fit closer to 70~75%. Obviously the tighter the chuck, the more distortion (which will return to near normal after releasing the chuck) will result in a tighter thread.

My parts were also machined to clean them up, way over the top really...

after machining


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Our picks

    • How to 3D print with reinforced engineering materials
      Ultimaker is hosting a webinar where we explain how you can achieve and maintain a high print success rate using these new reinforced engineering materials. Learn from Ultimaker's Product Manager of Materials and top chemical engineer Bart van As how you can take your 3D printing to that next level.
      • 2 replies
    • "Back To The Future" using Generative Design & Investment Casting
      Designing for light-weight parts is becoming more important, and I’m a firm believer in the need to produce lighter weight, less over-engineered parts for the future. This is for sustainability reasons because we need to be using less raw materials and, in things like transportation, it impacts the energy usage of the product during it’s service life.
        • Like
      • 12 replies

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!