PETG Vs ABS – Which One Is Better For 3D Printing?

3D printing drew mass attention in recent years. This machine is making such things that could not imagine just a few years back. The core of a 3D printer is the filament.

In recent years, the 3D printer has been diversified in many ways. A good number of 3D printer filaments are flooded on market. Among these, PETG and ABS gained the most popularity. PETG stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol, while the ABS refers to Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.

Although their activity looks similar, there are slight differences between them. This article is all about their familiarity, their merits, and demerits, comparison, and then end with a verdict which one is better.

Introducing PETG

PETG -3D Printing 1

PETG is none other than the upgrade version of the PET, which gained much popularity in recent years. This transparent thermoplastic garnered public attention due to its incredible flexibility. CHDM (cyclohexane dimethanol) to copolymerize PET jointly used to make this filament. PETG is also called copolyester or CPE because of being a product of copolymerization. The presence of glycol content prevents this material from crystallization. The lower melting point 230 degrees Celsius makes it ideal for 3D printing. Better adhesives come from its sticky nature which brings enough strength.  

Positive Side of PETG

Now, we are going to discuss the facts that encourage the user to select PETG over similar utensils.

The uniqueness of PETG is its incredible durability. This material doesn’t compromise with its exceptional resistivity in terms of chemical and physical aspects. Its non-reactive substances allow adopting in an acidic or alkaline environment. The glycol content of PETG helps to withstand heat. It has a tensile strength of around 7700 psi.

PETG can be used in various ways. Restriction or demand-free uses makes it easy to use. Like the other 3D filaments, it doesn’t prone to shrinking or warping. So working with this filament has less risk of damaging or post-processing tasks. Coloring may easy because of its transparency. So you can paint in any shade.

It’s pleasant to know, this 3D filament is a certified food-safe and this certificate is issued by the FDA. So if you like to make your own designed food container, bottle, or any other dining utensils, you can do it without worrying about the harmful toxic contamination.

PETG can be recycled like the most other thermoplastics. The polyester material is used to manufacture PETG which makes it fully biodegradable and recyclable. Its environment-friendly characteristics enhance the acceptance level to the user.

Negative Side of PETG

PETG -3D Printing 2

Besides the positive side, it has some negative sides too. While comparing two elements, keeping the negative side ahead is important.

PETG is a sticky filament by its nature. So the end product may have some sticky nature too. This prone to stringing filament should not be used for a structure where sharp parts are included.

Though its low melting point brings a ton of benefits for the user, it cannot be stored in a high-temperature place. High-temperature causes react to its container material and damage the filament. This temperature issue is really a bad side of this filament.

We know that this impressive filament is flexible and impact resistant. But this same feature could be a cause of prone to scratching when it comes to the materials like acrylic and glass. So it needs to be careful handling with the end product and keep away from the sharp objects. 

Introducing ABS

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is the full abbreviation of ABS. ABS is another popular 3D printer filament among the user. This item is made with few hydrocarbon monomers along with a petroleum base. This yellow-colored filament was in consumer’s choice before incepting 3D printing technology. It was invented before 1940, but developed in the 1940s. It gained momentum in the 1950s. Since then, this filament has been using vastly around the world. 

Positive Side of ABS:

ABS -3D Printing 1

Like the PETG, ABS has some good sides. These positive facts allow consumers to use this filament for over seven decades.

First and foremost, ABS is extremely durable. The end product of this filament last for a long time. Remember, the condition is – this should be kept away from direct sunlight. We know, PETG should keep away from sharp objects. However, ABS doesn’t have this type of appeal. This durable filament is scratches-free and protects the outer layer from damage. As a result, wear and tear don’t hamper it.

If you are looking for a sturdy material that can tolerate stress, pressure, and high heat, ABS is perfect for you. Its flexibility characteristic tends to bend instead of breaking when pressure is applied to it. Thus this filament could be suitable for making home appliances and automobile parts.   

ABS filaments are easy to process because of their high temperature absorbing capability, gluing the broken parts, or file off the unnecessary sections. Besides, processing the product surface made with ABS is very easy.

A reason behind the high popularity of ABS is its affordability. The small and medium business owner can easily start a business with this filament as it requires low investment.

Negative Side of ABS

ABS -3D Printing 2

Like the PETG, ABS has some demerits too. Let’s have a look over its demerits.

Prone to warping, curling and shrinkage make ABS not an ideal filament to make a large standing surface structure. So if you plan to make a large surface structure, you have to move on to another filament. Besides, it has a temperature issue as the PETG has. Just after printing, you have to keep a close eye on its cooling process. Slow cooling is a requirement. Fast cooling may create a crack on the surface.

ABS filament discharges bad printing odor while the printing goes on. So it needs to open the window or keep ventilation open during the painting. The surrounding environment seems to be unpleasant even after the termination of printing.

A mentionable negative side of this filament is its biodegradable and non-recyclable characteristics. This could be recycled but wasting a huge amount of materials and energy, which in turn, is not a smart idea. ABS is manufactured from oil which is a non-renewable source of energy. Overall, ABS is not an Environment-friendly material at all. 

Comparison Between PETG and ABS

So far we came to know about the details of PETG and ABS. As we know the positive and negative aspects of these two filaments, it’s been easy to compare between two and then finalize with a verdict which one is better.

  • Applications: 

Both of these two have multiple applications. PETG is used in, graphic holders, tabletop displays, orthotic devices, prototypes, store fixtures, thermoformed trays, signs, prosthetics, and machine guards while ABS is used in the projects of medical devices, bike helmets, toys, keyboards, and LEGO bricks.

PETG can be used in a harsh environment. It’s good for medical implants and packaging. Since PETG is a food-safe, it is vastly used in food packaging and container manufacturing industries.

On the contrary, ABS is used to make tough parts that need to withstand high heat and also need to last for a long time.  

  • Susceptible to Warping:

The susceptibility rate of ABS is much higher than the PETG. ABS needs careful temperature management. It can withstand up to 100 degrees Celsius leaving the material in a solid-state. It quickly solidifies and results in warping. 

  • Temperature Management: 

Temperature management with ABS printing is harder than PETG printing. PETG doesn’t need any heated bed while ABS cannot work without it. ABS requires more than 100°C to execute its task. Thus it needs a heated build chamber that a PETG doesn’t require.

  • Odor:

ABS produces odor and other health hazard particles during operation. On the contrary, PETG doesn’t emit any odor or any degree of particles. Even it does, the amount is negligible.

  • Post-Processing:

Since ABS needs less hassle to work with color and glue, the post-processing tasks become easier. Cosmetic addition or modification is easier in ABS than the PETG. However, both of these two are suitable for metalwork and similar tasks.

  • Storage:

The rate of hygroscopicity is higher in PETG than ABS. As a result, the moisture-absorbing capability is higher too. So storing PETG needs a humidity-free area. Moreover, PETG is affected by ultra violate rays. On the other hand, ABS needs a high tempered area or direct sunlight to avoid reacting with the container surface area. Overall, storing PETG is easy, even can be stored outdoor.  

  • Strength:

Both of the filaments are strong enough in terms of their capabilities. PETG, however, slightly stronger than the ABS. This is probably due to the PETG’s adhesive nature. In the end, it must be confessed that the end product of both the materials is strong enough to last for a long time.  

  • Environmental Issue: 

The basic component of making ABS filament is petroleum oil. This substance is not biodegradable and also not come from a renewable source. So this filament has a bad effect on the environment both directly and indirectly. On the other hand, PETG is sustainable, biodegradable, and recyclable. So this element is environment friendly. If you care about nature, our recommendation is to choose PETG filament.   

  • Temperature Issue:

 You can pour boiling water on ABS made materials as it can withstand more degrees of temperature than PETG. However, in terms of general electrical appliances, both the filaments are good.   

  • Cost:

Two types of ABS are available: spools and pellets. Spools come at a price range of 14 dollars to 60 dollars for one kg. Comparatively, pellets are available at a much lower price. Though it costs low, it requires extra extruders. Lower costs may affect quality. So it needs to be wise while choosing. Comparing to the ABS, PETG costs a bit higher. The price range of PETG could indeed be decent or premium if you look to its quality.

Which Filament is Better for 3D Printing?

While comparing head to head between ABS and PETG, you wouldn’t leave either of them. Both the two 3D printing filaments are popular among mass people.

PETG is safer for the environment and fewer limitations in processing, though it costs higher. Working with PETG won’t worry you about shrinking, warping, and harmful odor. On the contrary, ABS could be good for many projects where pricing is an issue. In terms of sturdiness, durability and less post-processing work may stand ABS one step ahead.

Finally, it cannot be said that this particular one is suitable for you. You know your requirement. This article presented all the necessary information. Now, choose one according to your requirement.  

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