I knew PLA was going to fail. But I wanted to try by myself because

  • I have quiet a few rolls of PLA
  • I only have 1 roll of ABS + 1 roll of ASA
  • I was curious

As expected my PLA printed accessories soon began to distort during hot summer days to a point that I couldn't imagine !
Here are some photos of a few distorted parts.
Too bad I have no photos of them undistorded, but you can see my original CAD designs instead.

Example 1
Before, Aug 2023
After, Aug 2023

Example 2
Before, Aug 2023
After, Aug 2023

Example 3
Before, Aug 2023
After, Aug 2023

PLA is definitely not a good material for my 3D printed car accessories !

That said...

What would be the best suited heat resistant material candidate then ?

Among the filament rolls I have at home, only ABS and FormFutura's ApolloX seemed to be my best bet.
By the way FormFutura's ApolloX seems to be some kind of ASA according to its description.

But which one should I choose ?
My decision will depend on 2 main factors

  • ease of 3D printing
  • heat resistance

Ease of 3D printing

3D printing ABS is known to be a bit difficult because of its tendency to warp.
Many years ago, when I started 3D printing, I mostly used ABS with quiet good success despite that my 3D printer didn't have a heated bed. I remember it was a bit tedious, but not impossible.
Today I have heated bed printers (Creality CR10 and Artillery Genius Pro) so I believe using ABS shouldn't be too hard.

ApolloX by FormFutura (ASA based)
I also have a roll of ApolloX but never tried it before.
According to their website, ApolloX is said to be zero warping.
Hard to believe...
But if it's the case, then it will be my preferred choice vs ABS.

Heat resistance

In order to be able to choose the most heat resistant material between ABS and ApolloX I performed the following test :

  • printed an experimental part (with PLA, ABS and ApolloX)
  • loaded them with some weight
  • put them in a oven up to 100°C
  • measured temperatures at which they start to distort

This is the experimental part designed for this test.

Test part, Aug 2023

Here are the 3D printed test parts with their load before the oven test (P=PLA, A=ABS, X=ApolloX).

Test parts, Aug 2023

This is the small oven I've been using (I performed my test outside to avoid nasty smoke and smell).

Oven, Aug 2023

And this is the thermometer used to measure the oven's temperature.

Thermometer, Aug 2023

My oven test results

After the test parts were inserted into the oven I gradually raised the temperature up to 100°C, starting at 33.8°C (exterior temperature at 10:30 AM).

Hot, Aug 2023
  • PLA started to distort at 48°C
  • ApolloX started to distort at 89°C
  • ABS started to distort at 97°C

After, Aug 2023Result, Aug 2023


Without surprise the oven test showed that PLA is the 1st one to distort (48°C).
It also showed that ABS is more heat resistant than ApolloX (modified ASA).
But I think the 8°C difference isn't very important so I could probably go for both (hopefully my car will never reach around 90°C).
Due to it's zero warping property (according to the manufacturer - untested), and because I want to see it by myself, I will start printing my parts with ApolloX.
And when I will run out of it, I will then use ABS.

I hope this test will help you decide on which filament to use when heat resistance is a concern for your projects.