3D printing materials
Most thermoplastics are suitable for use in the FDM1 process, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The two most commonly used polymers for FDM processing today are PLA and ABS.
Generally, ABS is preferred when strength, flexibility and higher temperature resistance is required in the final part. The smell when printing, however, together with the requirement of a heated bed, are considered to be the main disadvantages of ABS for FDM.
With regard to PLA, the excellent aesthetics, colorability, seemingly sweet smell while printing, minimal warpage and biobased origin makes it the most popular choice for hobbyist 3D printers. A disadvantage of PLA can be its glass transition temperature of around 55 °C. Above the glass transition temperature, a polymer softens and loses its rigidity which can cause problems for those end-applications intended for higher temperature circumstances.