If you already have experience of utilizing some more low-melting filaments in 3D printing (i.e., PLA), it makes sense to consider using more robust materials like petg vs abs. Both are excellent choices, but their general features differ greatly. Therefore, to choose between these two alternatives, one should do a little research.
What kind of materials are PETG and ABS filaments made of?
Due to its strength and usability, PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol) has become a popular thermoplastic for usage in a variety of 3D printing applications. PET plastic is widely used for cutlery like bottles, packaging, etc. PET filament print is brittle, and filament manufacturers increase its flexibility by adding glycol (G).
As a result of its high-temperature endurance and favorable chemical interactions with solvents like acetone, the thermoplastic ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a petroleum-based material that is frequently used in 3D printing. It is frequently used in injection molding, product housings and parts, automobile interior components, and more.
Is PETG similar to ABS?
Both materials are capable of withstanding high strain and stress. Although ABS and PETG are comparable, they are extremely different in terms of material quality, price, and uses. PETG is far more hygroscopic than ABS.
PETG filament must be properly stored because it deteriorates quickly if left out. Between the two, ABS is more affordable, widely accessible, and generally more well-liked. A one-kilogram spool of ABS costs around $20 and PETG costs $30, depending on the brand.
So, which is better, PETG or ABS? Let’s figure it out!
Tensile strength and impact resistance: ABS vs. PETG
When it comes to strength, PETG is superior to ABS because of its higher tensile strength. PETG has outstanding layer adhesion (which makes it less likely to break apart where the layers come together once mechanical stress is added).
Compared to ABS, PETG has a tensile strength of about 7000 PSI. On the notched IZOD impact test, PETG got 238, 178, and 35, while ABS only received 128, 149, and 55. PETG normally performs better in terms of impact resistance.
This basically indicates that PETG is less likely to shatter while being dropped or struck.
What is stronger: PLA, ABS, or PETG?
PLA has almost the same tensile strength as PETG, and they are both much more elastic in comparison with ABS. But also, PLA has less impact resistance compared to ABS and PETG filaments. Hence, it becomes obvious that PETG generally has better strength characteristics than the mentioned filaments.
Temperature resistance characteristics: ABS vs. PETG
Since ABS has a higher glass transition temperature than the majority of conventional desktop printer filaments, it freezes solid at a higher temperature than the other filaments we have examined thus far. In simple words, we may describe this as having a greater melting point.
Because they can keep their stiffness (they bend less) at greater temperatures, plastics with higher melting points or higher glass transition temperatures also tend to have higher heat deflection temperatures.
When the print needs to be cleaned, ABS’s minor temperature advantage is particularly helpful, since it can resist a plunge in hot water because of its softening temperature of 100 degrees Celsius.
ABS can withstand up to 100 degrees Celsius but PETG can only endure temperatures of up to 80–85 degrees Celsius; thus ABS has superior temperature resistance than PETG. But actually, it isn’t that substantial.
PETG will almost always be the stronger option unless the temperature is going to significantly affect your print.
Warping characteristics: ABS vs. PETG
When working with high-temperature filaments, warping is a possible problem, and utilizing ABS has many more flaws in this case.
Differential cooling of the item on the print bed while using a high-temperature filament like ABS can result in warping, which can cause the part to bow on the print bed and cause the print to fail.
So, to reduce the warping of parts while printing with ABS filament, a printer bed heater has to provide higher temperatures. Installation of an enclosure is also needed in order to protect the drafts.
If you use ABS filament, use the enclosed print chamber along with the bed heater.
PETG is far more forgiving and prints just as easily and at temperatures close to those of PLA.
The graph below plots density against tensile strength for a range of polymers including ABS (red), PETG (purple) and PET (blue).. The green blob shows PLA, just for reference.
Which can stand the weather better? ABS vs. PETG
Plastics are excellent, durable, and robust materials, but not all of them are equally good at keeping those qualities when exposed to conditions other than those for which they were designed.
UV radiation quickly decomposes several kinds of plastic (i.e., nylon), so UV resistance is crucial for items printed for outdoor usage.
PETG has more UV radiation resistance than ABS. Because of this, it is suitable for usage outside or in other situations where there will be a lot of sun exposure. It’s crucial to keep in mind that even the finest PETG filament is more hygroscopic than ABS.
This means that it will eventually deteriorate over time as a result of absorbing more water from humidity or rain.
PETG is more sensitive to moisture than ABS, despite the fact that both PETG and ABS are hygroscopic (meaning they absorb water). PETG absorbs a lot of moisture, even though air humidity and water can cause the material to deteriorate over time.
Before usage (or anytime there has been a possible exposure to moisture or humidity), both materials should be dried in a filament dryer or dehydrator to prevent moisture absorption.
Print speed characteristics: ABS vs. PETG
For ABS, a print speed of between 30 and 70 mm/s is advised. PETG may be printed at a speed of between 60 and 100 mm/s. The 3D printer may print at the highest speed limit without experiencing any negative impacts, though, if it is steady and well configured.
It is reasonable to assume that PETG components can be printed more quickly based on these suggested speed ranges.
You may also be interested: Food printing reality: Is PLA food safe?
Which of the following filaments is more prone to printing bugs? ABS vs. PETG
ABS seems to be less prone to clogging and jamming. This may create faulty prints that waste time and filament, which may be a pain.
Make sure your print settings and extruder temperature are optimal for the kind of filament you’re using to minimize the risk of these occurrences.
Irritating and harmful odors. Food and environmental safety: ABS vs. PETG
Fumes and unpleasant smells
The smell that is emitted during the printing process is one way that PETG and ABS vary from one another. Because PETG emits fewer particles, it has a softer odor. While printing, ABS must be contained in a well-ventilated environment.
When printing ABS, you shouldn’t remain in the same space, and if you aren’t utilizing an exhaust hood or other ventilation device to remove the fumes, you should wait until the air has cleared before entering again.
PETG is considered to be completely food safe, unlike ABS prints. That’s why PETG is widely utilized for bottle and utensil production.
PETG and ABS parts cannot be biodegraded. Yet, recycling both plastics is simple. Because of this, even though neither filament is manufactured from renewable resources or is biodegradable if you recycle them, they are not too harmful to the environment.
What about post-processing? ABS vs. PETG
ABS can be easily, safely, and affordably electroplated and vapor smoothed during post-processing.
Some ABS variations can be electroless nickel plated without adjustment because of their superior conductivity. A conductive ink may be added to ABS or to PETG as well so that plating can continue as usual.
It is not advised to try vapor smoothing PETG in a domestic setting because the chemicals required are unsafe and not appropriate for DIY.
Although, you can try to contact manufacturing companies that have this functionality.
PETG is difficult to sand as easily as other printing materials like PLA. For projects that require a lot of post-processing work, such as plastic helmets, clothing, weapons, or mechanical components that require a smooth outside surface, PETG is typically not the optimal material.
ABS is solvent-based, and it melts when exposed to some other chemicals, like acetone. This makes it simple to eliminate layer lines from prints using cold smoothing or acetone vapor treatments. An additional method for joining ABS prints is known as solvent welding.
In solvent welding, a small coating of acetone is used to melt the outer layers of the components, which then solidify into a single layer when the parts are forced together.
ABS is a popular material for ornamental objects, costumes, and props since it paints wonderfully.
The selection of a filament for strictly aesthetic reasons—that is, which one will make your models appear the best—is mostly a matter of personal taste and choice.
PETG’s most appealing features are its transparency and glossy, sparkly surface, which makes it ideal for complex objects like jewelry, vases, 3D-printed miniatures, and more. However, it is difficult to paint or polish PETG pieces.
ABS is available in a huge variety of colors, but cannot be made translucent. It can be painted any color using acrylic paints and acetone-smoothed for a shining result that looks wonderful.
Therefore, this may be a better alternative for characters who require the use of multiple colors for hair, clothes, and facial characteristics.
Some takeaways on the PETG vs. ABS topic
Ultimately, we recommend ABS for anyone who wants to paint, polish with acetone, glue numerous pieces together, or do any printing linked to high-temperature usage.
ABS works nicely and is ideally suited for items that have to be tough: casings, handles, etc.
However, if you prefer to print without issues like a heated chamber, want to minimize deformations, or make items with a translucent look, we recommend PETG.
Choose PETG for any components that require strong impact resistance, low stiffness, and the ability to withstand chemicals or sunshine.
Read also: Ender 3 pro: bed size, print size, and everything you were looking for