There are a variety of different materials used in 3D printing, including PLA, PETG, ABS, and TPU as the most common. Each of these materials have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to deciding which material is best for your specific project. Today, we will go over these materials and hopefully get you on the right track.
Next, we have Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, or ABS, which is another thermoplastic polymer typically used in manufacturing processes. ABS was the "original" 3D printing material because it is the most common thermoplastic available in the world. For a short period of time, it was the most popular material used in 3D printing, however its reign was short lived due to it being difficult to use. ABS is known to suffer from pretty bad warping which is detrimental when it comes to 3D printing. It also has a high forming temperature which means you have to have really high temperatures on your printing bed in order to support it. ABS can also be fairly dangerous due to the outgassing, so it can potentially become harmful if you are printing a high volume of parts.
Lastly, Thermoplastic Polyurethane, or TPU, is often referred to as the bridge between rubber and plastics. It is an extremely flexible material that be somewhat difficult to work with at times unless you are using a direct drive 3D printer. This is due to the fact that TPU pulls water out of the air, which can cause the material to bubble up, leading to a jammed extruder. It generally runs at a higher temperature than other materials, but it results in a very durable and chemical resistant finished product. TPU is great if you are looking to make a product that is more malleable and has softer properties.
Make sure to check out our YouTube video covering this same topic.