Product printed with PLA filament
In consumer 3D printing, polyacrylamide (PLA) is king. Although it is often compared to ABS – perhaps next in line for the throne – PLA is clearly the most popular filament type for 3D printers, and for good reason.
First of all, PLA is easy to print. It has a lower printing temperature than ABS and doesn’t warp as easily, which means it doesn’t require a heated layer (although it definitely helps). Another advantage of using PLA is that it doesn’t emit an unpleasant odor during printing (unlike ABS). It is usually considered an odorless filament, but many reports a “sweet candy smell” depending on the grade and manufacturer of PLA.
Another attractive aspect of PLA is that it is available in an almost endless array of colors and styles. As you will see in the sections on exotics, many of these specialty filaments use PLA as their base material, such as those that are conductive or glow in the dark, or those that are impregnated with wood or metal.
Finally, as a biodegradable thermoplastic, PLA is more environmentally friendly than most types of filament for 3D printers and is made from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugarcane.
- strength: high | flexibility: low | durability: medium;
- the difficulty of use: low;
- printing temperature: 180 ° C – 230 ° C;
- table temperature: 20 °C – 60 °C (optional);
- shrinkage/strain: minimal;
- soluble: in methylene chloride (dichloromethane);
- food safety: refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When it should be used?
In this case, it is better to ask when PLA should not be used. Compared to other types of filament for 3D printers, PLA is fragile, so avoid using it when making items that can bend, twist or fall, such as phone cases, wearable toys, or tool handles. You should also avoid using it with items that must withstand higher temperatures, as PLA tends to deform at 60°C or higher. For all other applications, PLA provides a good overall filament choice for your 3D printer. Common PLA prints include models, low-wear toys, prototypes, and containers.
PLA 3D Printer Filament Summary
Pros: ease of printing, variety of colors and styles, biodegradability.
Cons: fragility, poor mechanical properties.
- improved and modified material;
- produced from purified corn grain;
- high rigidity, good gloss and transparency;
- suitable for printing large models;
- 10 times stronger than the average PLA on the market;
- the surface of printed models will be smoother;
- no cracking/breaking problems.
In this article, I would like to write more in-depth about it and also name the PLA thread. So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of PLA filament! PLA, short for Polylactic Acid, is a popular choice among 3D printing enthusiasts. It’s a remarkable filament that offers a range of benefits and is widely used in the world of additive manufacturing.
One of the standout features of PLA is its ease of use. It’s incredibly beginner-friendly, making it a perfect choice for those who are new to 3D printing. PLA has a lower printing temperature compared to other filaments, which means you don’t need a super high-end printer or fancy equipment to work with it. It’s like a friendly companion, always ready to cooperate!
Environmental consciousness is another great aspect of PLA filament. It’s derived from renewable resources, such as cornstarch or sugarcane, making it a more sustainable option compared to some other filaments out there. So, not only can you bring your creative ideas to life, but you can also do it with a clear conscience, knowing you’re making an eco-friendly choice.
When it comes to PLA’s physical properties, it’s known for its low warping tendency. This means you’ll have fewer headaches during the printing process, as your prints are less likely to deform or warp. Plus, PLA offers excellent dimensional accuracy, ensuring your creations turn out just as you envisioned them.
PLA filament produces prints with a smooth surface finish, which is particularly appealing for aesthetic purposes. Its vibrant and vivid colors add an extra touch of life to your creations, making them visually stunning. Whether you’re printing functional parts or artistic models, PLA filament can bring your designs to life in all their glory.
While PLA is generally not as strong or heat-resistant as some other filaments like ABS, it still provides ample durability for many applications. It’s ideal for creating prototypes, artistic sculptures, decorative objects, and even educational models. Just keep in mind that PLA is not recommended for high-stress mechanical parts or items that will be exposed to extreme temperatures.
With its user-friendly nature, environmental benefits, and versatility, PLA filament has become a beloved choice for both beginners and experienced 3D printing enthusiasts. Its affordability, combined with its forgiving nature during printing, makes it a go-to option for many hobbyists and professionals alike.
So, if you’re looking for a filament that offers an enjoyable printing experience, stunning visual appeal, and a more sustainable approach, PLA is definitely worth considering. It’s like a reliable friend, supporting your creative endeavors and bringing your designs to life, layer by layer.
Remember, with PLA filament, the possibilities are endless. Unleash your imagination, and let the magic of 3D printing unfold before your eyes!