ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is considered to be the second easiest material to work with when you start 3D printing. ABS is an engineering polymer commonly used to produce car bumpers due to its toughness and strength. It’s also the stuff that Lego blocks are made of…tough enough but safe enough for the kids to handle!
Please note however, consideration must be made when printing larger objects – thermal stress can cause ABS to warp as the part cools.
ABS is suitable to make light, rigid, moulded products with good shock absorbance and wear resistance.
PLA (Polylactic Acid) is probably the easiest material to work with when you first start printing. PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic that has been derived from renewable resources such as corn starch and sugar canes. This makes PLA environmentally friendly and very safe to work with.
PLA also has a very sharp glass transition point so if you use a fan to cool it, on printing it will set to solid very quickly. This has the advantage of achieving a greater range of geometries than are possible with other plastics. It also reduces the thermal stress on the printed part - warping becomes less of an issue in larger parts when you print with PLA.
PLA does not require any curing or post-production treatment, however should you wish to, PLA can be sanded and coated with automotive spray filler. PLA can also be painted over with acrylic paint.