• Top grade 3D printing filament, manufactured to very tight tolerances.
  • Made from the highest quality materials to ensure consistent feeding and stable prints.

What is the difference between ABS filament and PLA filament?

ABS filament is engineered from a mix of styrene, acryl and butadiene. This blend results in a product that is extremely durable and impact resistant, yet rigid. By contrast, PLA filament is made from Polylactic Acid, which is more pliable.

ABS filament requires a heated print bed for optimum printing, and higher process temperatures than PLA filament. Both filaments can be cut, filed or glued after printing, however while acetone can be used to provide a smooth surface for ABS prints, it should not be used with PLA filament.

Prints made with ABS filaments have a generally glossy, yet opaque appearance. PLA filaments are available with transparent qualities.

Both ABS and PLA filaments have their uses, when deciding which filament to purchase, carefully consider the equipment you are using, as well as the end use of your printed design. Does your printer have a heated bed? If not, PLA filament is probably a better option. Do you require durability and rigidity from your printed design? Perhaps consider ABS, the filament used to make LEGO blocks.

How to Select 3D Printing Filament

Filament Diameter

There are two common diameters of 3D printing filament, 1.75 mm and 3.0 mm. Most commercial printers today are designed to work with one diameter filament and not the other. Always check your printer manufacturers specifications to determine which diameter is compatible with your printer.

Filament Type – ABS vs. PLA

  ABS PLA
Material Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – copolymer blend of styrene, acryl and butadiene Polylactic Acid – degradable bioplastic, derived from plants
Key features Harder, more impact resistant Easier to print – less prone to warping
Heat settings 225 – 250º C 190 – 240º C
Printed bed recommended? Not required. Yes.
Post processing Can be cut, filed or glued. Acetone smoothing acceptable. Can be cut, filed or glued. Do not use with acetone.
Transparent options available? No Yes
Recyclability Recycling #7 Degradable bio-plastic

Precision / Diameter Accuracy

Always look for filament manufacturers who publish their diameter tolerances. The tighter the tolerance, the more consistent and accurate the printed results will be. Verbatim 3D printing filaments are manufactured to tight tolerances to ensure stable, accurate prints with consistent feeding.

Spool vs. Coil and Design

Spools are easier to work with than coils. They are easily stored, mount conveniently and distribute the material in an even, consistent manner. However, not all spools are created equal. Verbatim 3D filament spools are custom designed for both strength and to ensure even feeding of filament, resulting in high-quality, consistent printing.

Printer Limitations

Is your printer equipped with a heated bed? Is the bed platform capable of achieving 100ºC? These are things you should consider when purchasing 3D printing filaments. ABS filament provides much better results when used with a heated print bed – ideally in the range of 80-120º C. The filament will adhere to the print bed better when the bed is heated to temperatures within this range. If your printer is not equipped with a heated print bed, you should consider working with PLA filament.

Printing Environment

As a plant based material, PLA is less prone to fumes than ABS material. Depending on your printing environment, this could be a consideration. Printers should only be used in well-ventilated environments, and we recommend use of appropriate respirators to protect against the gasses and particles that can be released by the printing process.