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PLA Filament

PLA filament is by far the easiest material to work with when 3D printing. When you’re 3D printing for the first time, PLA is your filament of choice. It is a biodegradable plastic without any harmful fumes during printing. The smell of the material during processing seems a little sweet.

 

What is PLA?

PLA is an acronym for Poly Lactic Acid, a thermoplastic derived from plants rich in starch. For example corn, sugar beet, cassava, grains and sugarcane. PLA is extracted from renewable, organic resources, therefore biodegradable. Thus, the impact on the environment proves to be a lot smaller than from thermoplastics made from fossil fuels, such as ABS. Also, PLA filament is strong and very user friendly.

 

Pros of PLA Filament

PLA filament is partly modified. This means that the material becomes stronger and less fragile without losing its typical features. Due to the material’s low shrinkage PLA filament will not warp when cooling down. A fine feature of PLA is that it can be printed on lower temperatures than ABS and does not require your 3D printer to have a heated bed. Furthermore, PLA filament is perfect when working with fine details and decorative prints; reaches a very high printing speed; and has a shinier finish compared to the duller looking ABS plastic.

 

Cons of PLA Filament

There are, however, some weaknesses associated with PLA filament for 3D printers. PLA plastic has a relatively short lifespan and the material softens at temperatures higher than 55°C (130°F). In addition, PLA is not as tough as the alternative ABS and the top of the hot-end should be cooled during printing.

 

Are you looking for high-end PLA filament for low prices? Order your choice of PLA in our Plasticz web-shop. Questions about 3D printing? Contact us on +31 33 8442 836 or info@plasticz.nl.