what is pla filament
PLA Filament: The Popular Choice for 3D Printing
Introduction: In recent years, 3D printing has gained significant popularity among various industries and individuals alike. The ability to create three-dimensional objects from digital designs has revolutionized the way products are developed and manufactured. One crucial component of 3D printing is the filament, and polylactic acid (PLA) filament, in particular, has emerged as a popular choice for many 3D printing enthusiasts and professionals. In this article, we will explore what PLA filament is and why it has become the go-to option for 3D printing projects.
what is pla filament? Polylactic acid (PLA) filament is a type of thermoplastic polymer derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugarcane. It is a biodegradable and environmentally friendly material, making it highly sought after in today's eco-conscious world. PLA filament is commonly used in fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers as it can be extruded at a lower temperature compared to other materials, which makes it easier to work with for beginners and experts alike.
Advantages of PLA Filament: 1. Biodegradable: PLA filament is made from natural sources, making it compostable under specific conditions. This eco-friendly aspect of PLA makes it an attractive choice for those concerned about the environment.
2. Ease of use: PLA filament is known for its ease of use, especially for beginners. It has low shrinkage and warping tendencies, which means it is unlikely to warp or crack during the printing process. Additionally, it has a low extrusion temperature requirement, making it compatible with a wide range of 3D printers.
3. Wide color range: PLA filament is available in a wide array of vibrant colors, which allows users to bring their creations to life with greater visual appeal. This color variety is especially useful for projects involving educational purposes, prototyping, or artistic purposes.
4. Smooth surface finish: PLA filament produces prints with a smooth surface finish, making it suitable for visually appealing projects. Unlike other filaments, PLA does not require post-processing techniques, such as sanding or acetone smoothing, to achieve a polished final product.
5. Odorless: PLA filament is known for its lack of strong odors during the printing process. This makes it an excellent choice for projects that require printing in confined spaces or where unpleasant smells might be an issue.
Limitations of PLA Filament: 1. Lower heat tolerance: PLA filament has a lower heat tolerance compared to other filaments such as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). PLA prints can soften and deform under high temperatures, limiting their use in applications where high heat resistance is required.
2. Brittleness: PLA prints tend to be more brittle compared to prints made with other filaments. This means they may be more prone to breaking or shattering under stress, making PLA less suitable for functional parts or objects that require high durability.
3. Storage sensitivity: PLA filament is sensitive to moisture and can absorb moisture from the air, leading to decreased print quality. To maintain the filament's integrity, it is essential to store it in a dry environment and consider using airtight storage containers or desiccant packs.
Conclusion: PLA filament has become a favorite choice for 3D printing enthusiasts and professionals due to its eco-friendly nature, ease of use, wide color range, smooth surface finish, and lack of odor. While it may have some limitations concerning heat tolerance, brittleness, and storage sensitivity, the advantages of PLA easily outweigh these concerns, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of 3D printing projects. As 3D printing continues to grow in popularity, PLA filament is likely to remain a popular choice for many creative endeavors in the years to come.