PETG vs ABS filament

So recently I got my TAZ 5 printer (my first printer, so I’m a newbie) with 1 meter ABS sample. I started to print the Lulzbot Octopus example file and it went very fine.

Though I’m still in the junction where to choose which filament I’ll use, and the two rivals now are ABS or PETG. I want a strong plastic as I’ll mostly create practically items. PETG is more expensive than ABS but it is more environment friendly. But I’m not really sure how big difference there is in flexibility, strength, heat-sensitivity and “corrosion” between the materials. Also it would be nice to know if anyone is printing in PETG and which settings you should use in comparsion with the ABS. I.e. PEI and nozzle temp.

So please message your experiences. :slight_smile:

I have mainly used ABS and I can tell you it is mechanically sound for most applications one would expect printed parts to work. If environmental issues are a concern, I for one collect all my scrap and am looking for someone that can recycle it, as in, recycle it directly to filament. I think you’ll find the best answer by trying both and comparing. I do know that ABS is quite easy to print. You may want to find if PETG has a solvent to weld parts with like acetone does for ABS, and consider how environmentally friendly that solvent is also. If none is available, you’ll be without the ability to join or vapor polish parts printed with PETG.

I’m still a newb myself, and using a Mini, but I’ll chime in on my experiences thus far.
I suspect that the Mini is very similar to the Taz5, with bed size being primarily the difference?

ABS is so far the easiest(less prone to error) that I’ve used. It can print some pretty dang good looking models with little fuss, dries fast, and therefore prints fast. Sticks to the bed pretty good, except for long narrow pieces and will require some raft.

HIPS is a close second, but I haven’t seemed to get as pretty of prints out of it for whatever reason. It seems slightly less rigid and harder to crack than ABS <-- I could be wrong about that… But I’ve broken ABS by simply removing support. It also seems more dense. I only say this, as I made a small mallet for tapping things that I don’t want to scratch/dent or ding, and to me, it seems that the HIPS has more weight to it… I already tossed the ABS mallet head, or I’d weigh both.
So far, I haven’t needed any raft with HIPS… It appears to have really good bed adhesion…

PETG is a bit tougher to print… Although I haven’t played too much with it. But I have to slow the print down a bit as it doesn’t seem to cool as fast. And in that regard, it’s stringy and can cause print issues. <—possibly temp settings I’m using. But I’ve noticed when the nozzle fan starts to run, the stringy-ness is less, and it dries faster and prints much better. I haven’t figured out how to make the nozzle fan run immediately when starting a print. I’m sure there’s a setting somewhere, but in my current (stockish) profile, it doesn’t start to run until it builds some height. I can’t comment on strength yet other than by pulling on a string of extruded filament, it’s definitely harder to pull apart than ABS…

IMO, and if you’re just starting off as well… I’d stick to ABS or HIPS…
It’s cheaper/easier to come by(especially in 3mm)… seems easier/faster to print…and a butt-ton of color options…
Also if you’re doing production type parts, I’m not sure you’d always want the semi-translucence of the PETG… It’s got a weird “wet” look to it… And to me, if the part is visible, it may be more of an eye-sore and stand out too much.

This is what I’m using for PETG on the Mini…
Would love for some feedback if anything looks dumb/out of place… :laughing:

Like I said, the initial layer is very troublesome… but once the nozzle fan kicks on, things have been looking good…
PETG_Initial.ini (12.6 KB)

Here’s a print I got from Thingverse… Thought it was a kewl print for our 6 month old… and has actually helped…

It’s hard to see the detail of the “neutral ABS”… I smashed my phone in my truck’s door, and it has a hard time focusing… but ABS kind of hides any ugliness… Whereas the PETG does not… You can probably see some of the “stringy” stuff I was talking about…

Well for one the reason that the white abs hides the problem areas is nothing to do with it being abs, it’s because its white. White filament hides stiff the most where as black shows everything. 2 petg is cheaper than abs, and esun petg works very good and is much harder and flexible than abs. 3 if printed properly petg can look just as good if not better. It does have a wet look, but its a welcomed sacrifice for having a part that is 3 times stronger and does not delaminate. 4 abs delaminates easily, whereas petg seems to have 100% bonding where the end product is one solid piece, instead of the typical layers.

PETG is easier to print than ABS.

Price comparison, PETG more expensive than ABS:

Durability, ABS seems more durable than PETG according to these videos:

PETG is “food” safe.

Learn how to print ABS for truly durable parts. To mitigate warping: use a 5-10mm brim, no fan for initial layers, and keep the walls thin (~1 - 1.5mm). If parts are delaminating, increase extrusion temp by a degree or two and minimize cooling from the fan (50-60% max). For eSUN ABS, start with the bed @ 110C and extrusion temps of 245C. After 3-5mm, drop the bed temp to 100C, and extrusion temps to 245 -241C… YMMV depending on your print environment. An enclosure to keep ambient temps consistent help ABS printing.

Personally I like ABS over PETG, but when the temperature is too low in my garage ABS fails about 100% of the time, whereas PETG looks and performs better the colder it is – seriously, it prints like a dream if the ambient temperature is in the mid to high 30s (F). This echoes the comment above about stringiness being less with the fan on.

With respect to ABS hiding artifacts of 3D printing, or even defects, I totally agree that it is true. While the example above also has the color issue, PETG is inherently shiny while ABS is matte or at most semi-matte – this means that even in a same color scenario, ABS is going to hide things more. It’s the age old preference between glossy and matte/semi-matte – monitor screens, photo prints, plastic parts. Some people like shiny, some don’t. I’m in the don’t camp so aesthetically speaking, ABS kills PETG IMHO.

I like PETG because I can print it in my unheated garage, and aesthetics aside, the best plastic is the one that functions properly. When summer comes back however, I’ll switch over to ABS.

Cura Fan Settings: in expert mode, select “expert” from menu and choose “expert config”. A popup window appears and in the “Cool” section, you can enter in the height at which the fan goes to full speed, limited by the “fan max speed (%)” setting below. I’ve found with my 8 month old mini, the fan won’t start to spin below 45% power.

While PETG itself might be food safe, remember that most brass has lead in it and there isn’t any real info on how much leaches out of the nozzle during printing. Secondly, printed pieces do not have a smooth surface like a molded object, and all those crevices are a great place for bacteria to live and grow. If using printed parts for food, it is probably best to think of them as disposable one time use objects.