Polylactic acid is also known as PLA. It is a prominent polymer designed from various renewable resources. Unlike other thermoplastics with petroleum, the raw materials utilized in the production of PLA are such as sugarcane and starch. Its properties are significantly comparable to a variety of plastic brands available on the market. These characteristics, coupled with the consumer demand to make great use of a material with little impact on the environment, have contributed to the intense growth of the material in the plastic market.
Today, PLA filament is a popular material commonly utilized in 3D printing. And of course, there are plenty of reasons appended to this fact. Not only does the material come in various shapes and styles, but it is also affordable. These features make it an ideal material for a broad range of several applications. So in this blog post, we shall have an extensive discussion about applications of PLA filament, its benefits, and the actual buying guide to follow as a prospect user.
Everything You Should Know About PLA Filament
If you are on the market search for brighter colors or just unique blends, then PLA filament could be precisely what you are looking for. The filament is easy-to-use. It is also aesthetically pleasing. In this buying guide, we shall provide you with insight regarding everything you should know about this material, including what to look for in the market. Thereafter, we shall discuss detailed features of the material and the manufacturing journey of the material.
If you aspire to go through the diverse segments of blends or jump into the expansive section regarding how this material compares to its ABS, then you can read our next series of PLA materials and its counterparts where we shall discuss various blends. Otherwise, let us delve into the apparent buying guidelines of this incredible printing material.
How PLA Is Made – PLA filament has several impeccable properties. It is not just bio-based but also biodegradable. To understand this feature, you need to comprehend the basics of biodegradable materials. A biodegradable material is exactly like a spell. It can meet the package requirements of a commodity without harming the environment. This is because the material does not break down into an organic matter. Biodegradable here is also used to imply that the compound is generated from biomass. Therefore, in the case of PLA filament, it means that the material goes through a significant transformation into natural material. Some of these materials are such as composite, as well as water.
PLA Filament Is Thermoplastic– thermoplastics are known for making up most of the filament types used in the process of fused deposition and modeling. Filament created from thermoplastic materials has often been used in creating several colors in 3D printing. When we say that PLA filament is thermoplastic, we imply that it is easily melted as well as reshaped without degrading its mechanical properties. As such, PLA filament is mechanically recyclable.
PLA Decomposes Slowly– PLA filament is made of lactic acid, and lactic acid is a crucial element in our lives. The muscle pains a person experiences, when they overwork, is just an ideal example of the role of lactic acid in life. Other than that, you should know that any element with glucose can also quickly be transformed into lactic acid, with glucose generated directly from corn. 3D printers could be defined as corny.
Therefore, while the PLA plastic is known for its biodegradable nature, it only decomposes in the first three months, it is exposed to controlled composting conditions. This means it has to be sent to commercial compost facilities.
There you have it from us when it comes to purchasing a PLA filament for your 3D printing needs. Whether it’s ABS or Nylon, they should be of exceptional quality. You also need to ensure that they are well stored because quality is a fundamental aspect to consider in the printing world.