RepRap-style fused deposition molding 3D-printers commonly use long rolled filaments of ABS or PLA as a starting material. ABS, recall, is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, and is the same petroleum-derived polymer that Lego bricks are made from; PLA is PolyLactic Acid, a more recent material made from natural starches which can biodegrade under favorable conditions.

Rich was curious about printing with polycarbonate (PC), but couldn’t find any definitive answers to his questions online. So he bought a roll of 1.6mm PC filament and started experimenting, and his reports are fairly glowing. PC melts hotter than ABS or PLA, is more rigid, and comes out of the printer cloudy, which some have suggested may be caused by absorbed atmospheric moisture. [via Hack a Day]