ABS & PLA Filament
Odor & Safety
There is a clear difference in the odor and safety between ABS filament and PLA filament. As soon as you heat each filament in your 3D pen, you will smell the difference right away.
ABS is made from the same plastic material used in making legos. Legos are great fun but would you want your child near melted lego plastics?
To compare...PLA filament is made from plant based materials such as cornstarch and sugar cane. Is has a very low odor profile and is much safer to work with than ABS.
PLA Filament is the Best Choice for the Environment
Is caring for the environment important to you?Then PLA is the winner in this category.
PLA filament is made from water soluble, biodegradable materials.
ABS has its uses if your goal is to make something that will withstand serious environmental conditions without breaking down. It is important to think about the purpose of your project. Do you need an industrial strength part for a machine or appliance? If not, PLA filament is the best choice for most project goals!
Important Note: We decided that there is a serious downside to offering ABS filament which outweigh its positive uses. At Brain Buster 3D, we only offer PLA filament in our 3D pen kits and online sales.
ABS & PLA
Types of Thermoplastics
ABS is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a thermoplastic polymer which, for example, legos and other durable plastics are made from. It has a distinct, unpleasant odor because it releases VOC or volatile organic carbon. ABS should always be worked with in a well-ventilated area.
ABS filament is a great choice if your goal is to make industrial strength parts which are water and heat tolerant. If you are making a repair, and it is important for the plastic to withstand harsh environmental conditions, ABS is made for this type of project.
ABS is amazing when it comes to mid-air drawing. It hardens quickly after extruding which is a very exciting quality. The downside is that the mid-air creation will be brittle and fall apart easily. ABS requires a build up of layers to make it strong enough for simple construction projects such as model bridge building as an example.
When ABS cools is has a matte finish.
PLA is Polylactic Acid is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester which is made from plant based materials such as cornstarch and sugar cane. It has a very low odor output, though when working with any vaporizing material, it is best as a precaution to work in a ventilated area.
ABS and PLA have different melting points. ABS requires a higher temperature to melt. The range is 210-230 degrees celsius. PLA melts between 160-190 degrees celsius. Either filament must be handled with care. Brain Buster 3D provides silicon finger and thumb protectors in every kit as an added safety feature.
PLA does not harden as quickly as ABS giving the user more time to adjust or work with the plastic.
Drawing in the air with PLA is more challenging than its ABS counterpart, but with patience and practice, this skill can be learned.
When PLA cools, it has a glossy appearance which is very striking.
An Important Safety Precaution
The ventilated nozzle and ceramic tips on the Art Pro Plus 3D pen, lowers the temperature, but the very tip where the filament extrudes is still very hot! This is why Brain Buster 3D provides silicon thumb and finger protectors in all 3D pen kits to help with handling the hot filament at the tip while working.
For children 8-13 it is best that they work under adult supervision to guard against misuse of the 3D pen and mishaps.