3D Printing Material – PLA Polylactic Acide Specifications and Uses

The following is an updated list of specifications, advantages and disadvantages of PLA (Polylactic Acid) used in 3D Printing.

PLA is the most basic and commonly used material in 3D printing due to its low cost and ease of printing. The material is biodegradable and is useful for making initial prototypes that are non-moving parts, or do not require durability or wear resistance. PLA material appears to be more flexible when fresh off the 3D printer, but will gradually become more brittle after several days.

The finishing of PLA 3D printed items are generally matt and depending on the printer, some may appear to have strings (lines).

Tech Specs PLA
Chemical Name Polylactic Acid
Advantages Biodegradable
Low cost
No toxic fumes (Lactide)
Disadvantages Low heat resistance.
Stringing and oozing.
Brittle when harden.
Poor chemical resistant.
Appearance Translucent, matte.
Chemical Resistance Salt, oil, UV
Fumes Emission Non-toxic lactide
Food Safe Yes, if certified.
Water Absorption 0.7~1.0%
Uses Non-functional prototype
Indoor used products
Strength Medium
Density kg/m3 1240
Melting Point 150-160°C
Glass Transition 60°C
Flexibility Low
Durability Medium
Ease of Printing High
Typical Print Speed Range
(machine dependent)
Heated Bed No
Extruder Temperature 180-230 oC
Cooling Method Cooling fan
Enclosure Required No
Ventilation Required No
Build Surface PEI sheet.
Glass plate.
Glue Stick.
Masking tape.
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