Besides the 3D printers that are using the laser and the power, the most of the 3D printers are using plastic filament as consumable. PLA and ABS plastic are most commonly used filaments in 3D printing, and 1.75mm and 3mm are the sizes available in the market.
Comparison of PLA and ABS:
- oil based
- melts at a little higher temperature than PLA
- better choice for warmer applications (such as extruders)
- a little stronger than PLA (this is unsupported evidence for me, I haven’t really seen the numbers on this, but this is a common point)
- starch based (corn/plants/goats milk etc.)
- more environmentally friendly
- from a renewable resource
- if disposed of properly it will biodegrade
- melts at a lower temperature than ABS
- not as suitable for applications where heat is a concern
- a little weaker than ABS
For personal perspective, don’t use ABS in a enclosed space because it smells horrible, and it will affect your health, so use PLA if you have the printer near you and your family.