In the early days of 3D printing, most people used ABS plastic. It is durable and sticks well to simple surfaces. However, it smells and emits fumes that may be dangerous. It also tends to warp as it cools which causes problems when printing. PLA smells nicer and since it is made from corn is supposed to be less noxious. However, PLA isn’t as temperature resistant and while it will stick better to beds without heat, it also requires more airflow to set the plastic as it prints. [Kerry Stevenson] recently reviewed PLA-F which is a blend of the two plastics. Is it the best of both worlds? Or the worst?
[Kerry] did several tests with interesting results. He did a temperature test tower and found the material printed well between 190 and 240 °C. He did note some stringing problems, though.
The material had no real issues printing gaps and did not readily warp. What was especially odd, though, was that [Kerry] noted no smell from the material at all. You’d think it would either smell like PLA or ABS or some blend of the two. Another surprise was that the PLA-F appeared to be even less heat tolerant than ordinary PLA.
Given the results, we aren’t sure why we’d pick this over regular PLA. The tests indicate it may be even less prone to warping than PLA, but that’s not usually a problem. On the other hand, we didn’t see any real reason not to use it as long as you don’t need high temperature resistance.
Thanks [ptkwilliams] for the tip.