PLA (polyactide) is a bio-based plastic that is one of the most frequently used materials in 3D printing in the hobby area. PLA consists of 100% renewable raw materials (sugar and corn starch) and is therefore also biodegradable, means compostable.
PLA filament is a malleable plastic (thermoplastic) and is characterized by a slightly shiny and scratch-resistant surface. It can also be colored, is resistant to many chemicals and is temperature-resistant up to 65 degrees.
PLA plastic is mainly used in the design and architecture area. According to EU and U.S. laws are it may also be used for food packaging, for catering items (e.g. cups, plates, cutlery), in the cosmetics sector and for toys. Also in the medical field, implants that should only remain in the body for a certain time are made from this bio filament PLA because it is broken down by the body.
|Extrusion temperature:||195 – 220 °C|
|Print bed temperature:||40 °C – 60 °C|
|Print bed material:||Kapton foil|
PLA has low shrinkage values (< 0.5%). For consistent results, the built tray should be enclosed in order to prevent fluctuations of room temperature, which might result in print surface irregularities.
PLA filament can be printed easily on a Kapton surface. The use of a brim is usually only necessary at pointed structures or overhangs after the first layer.
A wide range of post-processing methods are available for PLA. This plastic can be painted, glued and screwed with an inset or directly. When machining, care must be taken to ensure that the workpiece does not heat up too much, as otherwise the printed workpiece might be damaged by the melted plastic.
Solubility / resistance
Polylactides are soluble by many organic solvents (e.g. dichloromethane, trichloromethane, poor by acetone, not by alcohols). The plastic is resistant to oils and greases
Due to its simple processing and high-quality surface optic, PLA is often used in office environments, such as artist studios or architect’s offices.
PLA is food-safe and can be used even in contact with food according to EU and US laws. Also in the medical field, provided the appropriate certifications are given, implants that should only remain in the body for a certain period of time are made from the organic filament PLA because it is broken down by the body.
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