Currently, we are using Polylactic acid (PLA) in our printer. PLA is a bio-degradable polymer made from renewable resources such as corn starch, tapioca root or sugarcane. The PLA comes in many different colors and is wrapped around a spool and then fed into the printers’ extruders.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is another kind of plastic that can be used in 3D printers. This is the type of plastic LEGO bricks are made from. UDPL has explored using ABS in our printers but have found that without heated printing beds, which none of our printers have, it is very difficult to get a successful print. For this reason, we print exclusively in PLA.