PLA filament is a fully biodegradable thermoplastic polymer that is made with renewable raw materials, such as cornstarch, sugars, and other plant-based materials. It is one of the most popular materials used in 3D printing because it is environmentally friendly and has low toxicity, especially compared to ABS or PVA plastics.
PLA stands for Poly lactic Acid, and it is a solid at cool temperatures, but it becomes soft and pliable when it is heated. PLA filament comes in two sizes, and it has a relatively low melting point, especially compared to other plastics. As a result, a heated print bed is not necessary.
When you heat it, it will give off an odor similar to sugar because it is plant based, but it does not smell like hot plastic. You will not need a hood for fumes, and you can safely print with PLA indoors.
PLA plastic filament is more rigid and stronger than ABS filament. It can easily be sanded down after you use it, and it is easy to paint with acrylic paints. If you need to glue it, you can use cyanoacrylate. In addition, it is easy to repair or bend because it has a low melting point, and it is very easy to work with.
PLA filament produces sharper details and corners without the risk or warping or cracking, which is an advantage compared to ABS. In addition, you can print with it at higher throughput speeds.
Because PLA filament is made of plant-based materials and is environmentally friendly, it has many common uses. It is often used in surgical implants because of its ability to degrade into lactic acid in the human body. In addition, it is used in food packaging, disposable clothing, diapers, upholstery, bags, disposable tableware, hygiene products, and more.
It comes as wire on a spool, and it is fed into the extruder head of the printer. The plastic is heated until it melts, and then it is dropped on the printing tray. It is very stable during the printing process because it warps much less than other plastics. Once it cools, it can be sanded.
PLA filament comes in a wide range of colors, both transparent and solid. Similar to ABS, PLA filament can attract water molecules from the air, and this can make it brittle or bubbly. You should always store it in a cool, dry spot to prevent this from happening.
PLA Filament Setting
extruder Temperatures: 190-230 °C
heated bed: Not needed, but if printer has heated bed, 50-60 °C
Cooling fan: On
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