What is stronger PLA or ABS or PETG?

Hello there, my tech-loving friends! It’s Carolina here, and as someone deeply passionate about all things technology, let me dive deep into the riveting world of 3D printing. Let’s unravel the mystery around the strength of 3D printed items and how to maximize it.


Globally, businesses are enthusiastically harnessing the power of 3D printing to craft technical components efficiently while also keeping those purse strings tight. However, innovating with 3D means we’re experimenting with novel materials. So the pressing question remains – how robust are these 3D printed artifacts?

The answer is surprisingly uplifting! 3D printed items are impressively sturdy, more so when crafted using specialty filaments such as PEEK or Polycarbonate. Fun fact: Polycarbonate is what goes into making bullet-resistant glass and protective riot shields! By tweaking parameters like infill density, wall girth, and print direction, we can further boost this strength.

The nitty-gritty of 3D printing strength lies in understanding the materials in play, their inherent robustness, and the tweaks that can amplify their durability. Let’s dive in!

Do 3D Printed Components Lack Strength?

Certainly not! 3D printed items are not inherently feeble unless manufactured with settings that compromise their resilience. For instance, a 3D print crafted with scanty infill, fragile material, slender wall breadth, and reduced print temperature is destined to be delicate.

Enhancing the Sturdiness of 3D Printed Components

While the innate durability of most 3D printing materials is commendable, there are several tricks up our sleeves to elevate this strength. The devil, as they say, is in the details, particularly in design nuances.

Let’s highlight some prime factors:

Amplify Infill Density

Infill plays the role of filling the body of a 3D printed component. It’s like the intricate pattern within the structure that beefs up its density. Without it, our 3D artifacts would be frail and hollow. Not only does infill beef up the weight, but it also escalates the strength. Various patterns, like grid or honeycomb infills, can be used. And remember, the more the infill, the mightier the part!

Boost Number of Walls

Imagine the walls of a 3D printed item as the skeletal framework of a building. The more the framework, the sturdier the edifice. Similarly, adding more walls within a 3D structure inherently boosts its might, particularly vital for expansive items.

Augment Wall Breadth

The sheer thickness of a 3D item’s walls directly dictates its ability to endure impacts. Generally, walls with a minimum of 1.2mm thickness tend to hold up well, though pushing it to 2mm and beyond promises an even tougher character.

Material Strength in 3D Printing

The strength of a 3D printed item is essentially tethered to the vigor of the material used. Among the common contenders, we have PLA, ABS, and PETG. Each has its strengths and applications.

PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a crowd favorite in the 3D printing realm, favored for its affordability and ease of printing. Often seen in items like containers and implants, PLA is usually robust. Yet, certain conditions can make it somewhat brittle.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) may not outmuscle PLA in strength, but its knack to flex under impact without shattering makes it valuable. It’s a go-to for myriad products, from toys like Lego to computer components.

PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-Modified) is typically employed for intricate 3D designs, thanks to its dense and rigid nature. Commonly used in items like food containers, PETG is a reliable choice for durability.

The Rationale Behind 3D Printing

If 3D printed items weren’t robust enough, they wouldn’t find favor as a pivotal manufacturing alternative. While they might not match metals in strength, they hold their own when it comes to design innovation, cost efficiency, and decent durability, especially for petite components.

The true beauty of 3D printing is the malleability it offers. With the right adjustments, these printed items can truly be made stronger and more durable, turning them into robust pieces ready for real-world applications.