3D-Printing             ABS-Plastic             PLA-Plastic             TPE-Plastic

What is 3D-Printing?

A conventional 2D-printing involves the process of producing a representation of electronic document (e.g. texts or charts/pictures on computer) on paper with inks via a peripheral, say inkjet printer, and the result is a 2-D visual display on plane physical medium.

A 3D-printing involves the process of reading a computer aided design or 3D-modeling software by a 3D-capable-printer and then create a successive series of cross-sectional layers (e.g. ABS- and PLA-materials) based on the three-dimensional blueprint.

Unlike 2D representation yielded by conventional printers, 3D-printers are capable of constructing virtually any shape by fusing together layers of materials which are being used.

3D Printing Plastic
Currently, there are various types of 3D-printers released on the markets by different developers. These printers may have variable 3D-model constructing systems and feed only on specific materials, but they all bear the same modeling principles by joining together layers of the materials.


The chart below illustrates various types of materials being incorporated by different modeling technologies.

(DLP) Digital Light Procession
(DMLS) Direct metal Laser Sintering
metal alloy
(EBM) Electron Beam Melting
titanium alloy
(FDM) Fused Deposition Modeling
plastics, metals, edible materials
(FFF) Fused Filament Fabrication
PLA, ABS, and other plastics
(LOM) Laminated Object Manufacturing
paper, metal foil, plastic film
(MEM) Melted and Extrusion Modeling
plastic filament, metal filament
(SHS) Selective Heat Sintering
thermoplastic powder
(SLA) Stereolithography
(SLS) Selective Laser Sintering
Thermoplastics powder, metal powder, ceramic powder


Many 3D-printers which are currently out on the market accept both ABS- and PLA-filaments, and the chart below summarizes the main differences of the two:

Thermoplastic Polymer
Thermoplastic Polymer
Derived from Petroleum
Derived from Corn Starch
Not Degradable
Translucent Light-Yellow
Stronger Plastic Odor
Slight Sweet Odor
Faster Cooling Speed
Lower Cooling Speed
Less Sticky at Melting Point
Sticky at Melting Point
Inferior UV Resistivity
Sticky at Melting Point
Better Heat Tolerance(100℃)
Inferior Heat Tolerance(50℃)
Recyclable as Waste
Unrecyclable as Waste
Flexible and Resilient
Rigid and Brittle
Store in Dry Place when Not in Use
Store in Dry Place when Not in Use