Creative Mechanisms uses the Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printing process over other “printing” technologies (such as SLA, SLS, SLM) because ABS parts are readily available. Our FDM machine uses ABS plastic which allows us to be certain that there will be no major hold-ups due to material when transitioning from prototype to production. It is often chosen because it is a good middle-ground option for a huge number of applications.
ABS is easily machined, sanded, glued and painted. This makes it a great material for prototyping. You can also get good cosmetic finishes with ABS and it can also be colored relatively easily, unlike some other plastics. This is a reason it is often used for enclosures (housing) that might have different textures or glossy surfaces.