Initially, I bought a reel of transparent ABS filament from a distributor based in New York solely because it was transparent. Natural ABS is milky white and very much opaque but can be colored while PLA is naturally transparent and can be tinted. When printing with the transparent ABS, I found myself wondering why my prints looked more like PLA than ABS and why the filament was so weak. Although I have no evidence of my suspicions, but I suspect that in order to make the naturally opaque ABS clear, manufacturers chemically alter the ABS and thus giving me subpar results with my prints. By subpar I mean flimsy and non glossy.
To test my suspicions, I obtained another roll of ABS but this time it was black ABS so it would still be opaque but just a different color. On my first few text extrusions, I instantly saw a difference! The filament extruded was much more glossy and paste-like. I don’t know what the difference between the two is but I will probably be sticking to opaque colors in the meanwhile.