3d printing is a promising domain Especially for people who know the importance of stem teaching. Many parents are afraid of using 3d printing materials that could be damaging for their kids. So in this article were going to discover the best 3d printing material for kids’ toys. Also knowing which materials are safe and which ones are not safe for kids’ uses.
what are the bests 3d materials for kids toys?
3d printers are incredible and amazing tools. This technology allows people to expand their imagination and build things that we could not ever think possible in the past. You have small manufacture in your room. But for kids parents, are always careful and want to know everything about the material that use. So I will list you these safest and best 3d printing materials for kids’ toys.
PLA is an abbreviation of Polylactic acid, which is known as PLA. It is a thermoplastic and biodegradable material derived from renewable, organic materials like:
Currently, PLA is considered one of the most important and popular bioplastics in the world. Also for 3d printing use, PLA is still the most used due to its various advantage. It doesn’t require high temperatures to print with. also it is a cheaper material.
ABS plastic is an abbreviation of Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. It is one of the most popular plastics used in manufacturing especially injection molding plastic. The ABS is derived from petroleum substances it is not biodegradable so not a friendly environment.
It was one of the first plastics used in 3d printing thanks to its low cost and durability. It is resistant and tough. Many toys are made from this plastic because of its high-temperature resistance, which could be an excellent material for outdoor applications.
Why PLA is good 3D printing material for kids toys?
PLA is biodegradable and friendly environment plastic and more even, is food-safe. It is excellent for teachers in primary schools that have 3d printers or for parents who have kids. Kids could have close contact with PLA without any fear of pollution or toxication. Your kids could:
Touch PLA printed toys and play with them safely
kids could play without any fear of injury or damages. PLA is physically safe doesn’t explode, or could cause any physical injury.
PLA toys could be touched with mouth
In some cases, kids love to put and test things with their mouths. So there is no worry, PLA is made from biological substances. Nothing will happen, just you have to be present, preventing swallow accidents especially for small objects.
PLA during printing
During any printing process, with PLA or any other type of plastic. You will smell the plastic. For some plastic types, this could be toxic for breath. But with PLA plastic you will smell like burning sugar as if you are in the kitchen.
you could put food in PLA
Yes, you could put food in PLA plastic it is safe. Making coffee or food stencils will be fun for you kid. So it will be an amazing experience. But in this case, you have to be aware from :
- you have to keep away PLA from the hot food. PLA could bend in high temperatures from 60°C and above. It will not be toxic but you wouldnt love to see the weirdest Coffee cups in the world…(just for fun).
- The second thing is once you use PLA objects in food is highly recommended to not use them again. Because is difficult to clean 3d printed pieces. They have corners and wholes which makes it difficult to clean them. So you dont expose your kid in front of bacteria. They are only better for the first food use. you could find more details about the PLA food reaction.
why ABS is good 3D printing material for kids toys?
Abs is one of the famous plastic used in toys. The famous lego toys are made from this substance. ABS plastic is tough against drops, could resist the higher temperature. With ABS your kids could:
drop toys without any fear:
ABS printed pieces are more resistant against chocs and drops. In most cases, your kid or stem student could drop an ABS piece. It is a durable piece, it will not break easily.
let a toys kids in sun:
You may have a day outdoors enjoying the sun with your kids. Other printed plastic pieces could deform or bend under the sun. So it is not the case with ABS. It has a good resistance against temperature.
ABS is easily adjustable:
You have printed the ABS toy or object but forget to put a hole or something else in it. ABS will be easy and feasible to adjust without deformation. Like sticking or adding new things to the piece. The material is solid and doesn’t get consumed easily.
PLA or ABS for my 3D printing material for kids toys
PLA and ABS remain the best to use as 3D printing material for kids’ toys. Each one has its pros and cons. But there is one of them that has more advantages over others. So before choosing or knowing which one. We will discover the pros and cons of each one. We will help you to make the right decision to know which material to buy.
We will take 3 principal factors to choose our best 3d printing material for our kid’s toys. We will look at The:
ABS is more though than PLA, which makes it great for prototypes projects. PLA and ABS both could be used to make relatively strong toys. But with ABS you would make more bit tougher toys. The difference in toughness is not huge but still notable.
ABS is lighter than PLA by 30% which is could be useful if you look to make big and not heavy toys. ABS could be the best option. That is to say, if you think that kids need lighter toys or you have as a teacher some scientific parameters. So the weight could be part of them.
ABS is more flexible than PLA. If you think to make a toy that has such kind of flexibility, ABS would be acceptable. You will not have high flexibility but it is still good. Flexibility makes ABS good in terms of stress. For example, if you want to print an octopus toy. The PLA octopus feet will be easier to break more than ABS One. Simply because ABS is more flexible.
ABS is more durable than PLA. simply because as we said it is tougher, lighter, and flexible. So it will resist more in hand kids, which is good in the long term.
In the printing process. ABS does require more effort and respect to the details. Because it is too sensitive to temperature fluctuations. In this case printing with ABS require two principal things to take into account.
Printing with ABS requires an enclosed environment. If you haven’t yet bought a 3d printer and you want to work with ABS. Is better to choose the 3d printer that comes with an enclosure. or add a DIY enclosure to your one.
ABS is too sensitive to change the temperature. So you have to keep the temperature stable In order to have a good quality toy printing. PLA print with low temperature than ABS. The nozzle reaches around 180-230 °C in PLA printing while 210-250°C in ABS which is lower by 50°C.
During the ABS printing phase. your toys have more probability to warp. ABS is famous for this problem. If you don’t have a stable bed temperature you will likely have a warped toy. So your kid will not be happy about that. The PLA users barely affront this problem because PLA is thermic flexible.
When the print is finished. ABS pieces need to have time to get cold. If you try to take it directly from a bed you might bend it or even break it. With PLA you could pick directly without having any fear of damage.
PLA doesn’t produce fumes like ABS. ABS has an oil consistent which makes them produce toxic fumes. So it is harmful. Absolutely you won’t make your kid breathe these toxic fumes. It is a critical point that a lot of 3d printer users choose PLA over ABS.
PLA is a biodegradable plastic. dealing with PLA plastic is like cooking sugar. Original and virgin PLA plastic could be safe in contact with food. That means you could make dishes and all utensils tools especially for moms who want to teach their kids how to cook.
The PLA food use, must be with high attention and tiny use.
If you think of using PLA and putting the food on it. You have to watch this video it covers a topic widely and with details.
Which I should choose PLA or ABS
before responding to this question I will give in this table a summary of what we told about PLA and ABS
ABS is mechanically resistant more than PLA
ABS is Thermic resistant more than PLA
PLA is more easily and safely to use than ABS
Due to its characteristics, PLA could be Mechanically and Thermic less resistant But the most important part is safety. Especially for our case. We have kids and the most important of all things is safety. So I will not let my kid breathe toxic fumes from ABS so he can have a durable piece. Health is over everything. So PLA is highly recommended.
The thing that you have to take into account is to pick and look for good and original quality. It must be a virgin and pure PLA without additives. This is will be the best option. If you choose to pick a colored PLA make sure if it is a food-safe color. These are the characteristics of the best 3D printing material for kids’ toys.