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 SpecsPLA
Chemical NamePolylactic Acid
AdvantagesBiodegradable
Low cost
Stiff
No toxic fumes (Lactide)
DisadvantagesLow heat resistance.
Stringing and oozing.
Brittle when harden.
Poor chemical resistant.
AppearanceTranslucent, matte.
Chemical ResistanceSalt, oil, UV
Fumes EmissionNon-toxic lactide
Food SafeYes, if certified.
Water Absorption0.7~1.0%
UsesNon-functional prototype
Indoor used products
StrengthMedium
Density kg/m31240
Melting Point150-160°C
Glass Transition60°C
FlexibilityLow
DurabilityMedium
Ease of PrintingHigh
Typical Print Speed Range
(machine dependent)
30-90mm/s
Heated BedNo
Extruder Temperature180-230 oC
Cooling MethodCooling fan
Enclosure RequiredNo
Ventilation RequiredNo
Build SurfacePEI sheet.
Glass plate.
Glue Stick.
Masking tape.
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