thinkMakker

PLA

Overview

Polylactic Acid, commonly known as PLA, is one of the most popular materials used in desktop 3D printing. It is the default filament of choice for most extrusion-based 3D printers because it can be printed at a low temperature and does not require a heated bed. PLA is a great first material to use as you are learning about 3D printing because it is easy to print, very inexpensive, and creates parts that can be used for a wide variety of applications. It is also one of the most environmentally friendly filaments on the market today. Derived from crops such as corn and sugarcane, PLA is renewable and most importantly biodegradable. As a bonus, this also allows the plastic to give off a sweet aroma during printing.

Pros

  • Low Cost
  • Stiff and good strength
  • Good dimensional accuracy
  • Good shelf life

Cons

  • Low heat resistance
  • Can ooze and may need cooling fans
  • Filament can get brittle and break
  • Not suitable for outdoors (sunlight exposure)

Hardware Requirements

Before 3D printing with PLA make sure your 3D Printer meets the hardware requirements listed below to ensure the best print quality.

Bed

Temperature: 45-60 °C
Heated Bed Optional
Enclosure not required

Build Surface

Painter’s tape
PEI
Glass plate
Glue stick
Hairspray

Extruder

Temperature: 190-220 °C
No special hot-end required

Cooling

Part Cooling Fan Required
Fan Speed: 100%

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