Once upon a time, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) was the most popular 3D printer filament. This thermoplastic is cheap, durable, slightly flexible, lightweight, and it can be easily extruded — which makes it perfect for 3D printing.
Fun fact: it’s the same plastic used in LEGO bricks and bicycle helmets.
But there are several disadvantage to using ABS, which is why it has fallen from favor in 3D printing. Firstly, it requires a higher temperature to reach melting point, usually in the range of 210 — 250°C.
Moreover, a heated build platform is required to prevent the first layers of the print from cooling too quickly, so the plastic doesn’t warp and contract before the fabrication of the object has completed.
Another drawback of this material is the intense fumes that arise during printing, which can be dangerous for people (or pets) with breathing difficulties. The 3D printer needs to be placed in well-ventilated area, and it’s critical that you avoid breathing in the fumes when in use.