Protomaker Filament

An Introduction to PLA in 3D printing

An Introduction to PLA in 3D printing

What is PLA? Why is it so popular in 3D printing? Read on to find out!

PLA, or polylactic acid, is a popular material used in 3D printing. Unlike traditional plastics that are derived from petroleum, PLA is made from plant-based materials such as sugar cane, corn, and sugar beets, making it a more sustainable alternative.

One of the main reasons PLA is so popular in 3D printing is its low processing temperature. With a lower extrusion temperature needed, a heated bed and enclosure are not necessary, leading to less warping in the final part. Additionally, PLA adheres well to many bed surfaces, such as glass and tape, and is easy to post-process by sanding or other methods.

While PLA is a great choice for many 3D printing applications, it does have some limitations. Its strength and impact resistance are lower than other polymers, making it less suitable for high-strength applications. To combat this, Protomaker offers Though PLA, which has significantly higher impact strength and durability than standard PLA, while still being easy to print and cost-effective. Another limitation of PLA is its low temperature resistance, which limits the service temperature that PLA parts can be used in.

Here are some common applications of PLA filament:

Prototyping: PLA is a great material for creating detailed and precise prototypes because of its smooth finish.

Figurines and Collectibles: PLA is a great choice for creating detailed and intricate figurines and collectibles because of its ability to capture fine details.

Educational and hobby projects: PLA is easy to work with, which makes it a great option for educational and hobby projects, it is also safe and non-toxic, making it a popular choice for children's projects.

Decorative items: PLA has a good finish and comes in a variety of colors, which makes it a great choice for creating decorative items like vases, ornaments, and other household items.

Overall, while PLA may not be the best choice for high-strength or high-temperature applications, it is a versatile and easy-to-use material that is suitable for many 3D printing applications. To learn more about processing temperatures and strength, be sure to visit our PLA product pages.

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