PLA Filament 1.75mm
When it comes to 3D printing filaments, PLA is one of the most popular types of 3D printing materials. Polylactic acid is a biodegradable thermoplastic made from renewable resources, such as corn starch or sugarcane. In this guide, we will give you a quick start for PLA filament and provide you with tips on how to use it effectively!
What is PLA?
PLA, or polylactic acid, is considered a renewable and biodegradable material. This means that PLA is made from natural, plant-based sources, such as corn or sugarcane, rather than from non-renewable fossil fuel sources. Additionally, because it readily breaks down once disposed of in the proper conditions, PLA is considered much more environmentally friendly than traditional plastics.
This makes it an excellent choice for a variety of applications, from food packaging to recycled plastic products to 3D printing filaments. Thanks to its many benefits, PLA has become an increasingly popular material in recent years and with an adaptation of more efficient and accessible recycling, PLA looks set to play an important role in reducing our impact on the planet for years to come.
Applications And Uses for PLA
So now that you know what PLA is, what is it used for? There are many use cases for polylactic acid in general, the plastic is an incredibly versatile material with a wide range of potential applications. It can be used for everything from food packaging and biodegradable cups to, of course, 3D printing filaments. Here are some of the most common uses for PLA:
Because it is made from renewable resources and is biodegradable, PLA is an excellent choice for food packaging. It can be used for everything from disposable cutlery and plates to food storage containers but has its applications in this.
PLA is typically used to make disposable drinking straws, yogurt containers, and other single-use items. While PLA is often billed as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional plastics, there are some drawbacks to using it in food packaging.
For one thing, PLA is not as strong as conventional plastics, so it is more likely to tear or leak. Additionally, PLA is not safe for use in microwaves or ovens, so it cannot be used for all types of food packaging. Overall, PLA has some advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before using it in food packaging applications.
PLA has several properties that make it appealing for use in medicine, including biocompatibility, biodegradability, and mechanical strength. In addition, PLA can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes, with 3d printing or other means, making it useful for a wide range of applications within the medical sector.
One potential use for PLA is in the fabrication of implants, such as bone screws. Plentiful research is being done into the useful utility of PLA and 3D printing in medicine. In the future, PLA may play an important role in the field of regenerative medicine, as it can support the growth of cells and promote tissue regeneration. The use of PLA and 3D printing in medicine is exciting to watch!
3D Printing Filaments
PLA plastic is one of the most popular filaments for a variety of reasons. PLA filament is an all-around great choice for filament. To a credible extent, it is strong and durable. For your average print, either that be of functionality or aesthetic, PLA would be durable and strong enough to do the job.
In cases where your print needs higher strength, temperature resistance, and durability (ie. door hinge for outdoor use), plastics such as ABS may appropriately fit your needs. Most of the time, the features of PLA filament are more than enough for the average enthusiast! PLA is more user-friendly compared to other plastics, needing a lower temperature to print and without a heated bed.
PLA also emits fewer fumes compared to other plastics and does not require ventilation for printing. It is beginner-friendly and forgiving. PLA filament is a great choice for general use cases and applications while 3D printing!
Is PLA filament food safe?
While PLA is biodegradable and is used in other food applications, in the case of 3D printed PLA filament, it is NOT food safe. PLA in itself is food safe, but during the process of manufacturing filaments, additives are added to the filament for better performance, and colors are added for aesthetics.
The properties in additives may not be food-safe, so it is best not to take the risk of using PLA with food. When 3D-printed filament and objects are heated, they can release harmful chemicals. In addition, 3D printed objects can have microscopic pores or cracks that may harbor bacteria.
For these reasons, it is not recommended to use PLA filament for 3D printed objects that will come into contact with food. If you do choose to use 3D printed objects in food (ie. cookie cutters, utensils), use them while your food is cold. PLA has a low heat resistance and may start to “melt” or deform when in contact with these temperatures. When PLA is melting, or in a deformed state due to heat, it can potentially release chemicals, which may harm you.
When printing with PLA 3D filament, it is important to use the correct settings. We recommend using a nozzle temperature between 200-220°C for our PLA filament . Typically, PLA does not need a heated bed, although in some cases a heated bed can be useful for avoiding warping or getting your print to stick to the bed.
If you have trouble with adhesion, you can heat your bed up to roughly 60°C to help adhere to your print. Some 3D printing enthusiasts find it helpful to apply hairspray or painter’s tape on their bed to help with adhesion. While great adhesion is always a positive when printing, sometimes your print may stick too well to the bed.
While it may get frustrating, do not forcefully remove your print from the bed, at risk of damage. Instead, let your bed cool down to room temperatures and your print should easily remove from the bed. If that fails, another way to get your print removed from the bed is to put the bed in the freezer. After the print and bed become cool, your print should be removed easily. Although be careful to not burn yourself by handling your print bed while hot.
Although not necessary, some 3D printing enthusiasts also find it helpful to use an enclosure while printing. When your 3d printer is inside of an enclosure, it is protected from outside elements in your home, such as drafts, air conditioning, and other factors that may contribute to a temperature change.
Temperature variation while printing may lead to warping or a poor-quality print. This applies to too much heat as well, ensure that your enclosure has a ventilation system or an avenue for hot air to escape. PLA has a low melting point, and too much heat build-up will ruin your print.
The point of the enclosure is to maintain a consistent temperature, and not considering both factors can lead to poor quality or failed prints. Although an enclosure is an afterthought when printing with PLA and is not necessary, an enclosure also has other use cases.
Minimizing the heat in your printing area, noise reduction, and general safety (minimizing tampering with animals, children, etc). If you do consider an enclosure, please consider all safety variables when purchasing or building your own.
Diameter (2.85mm vs 1.75mm)
PLA filament is available in both 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm widths. The main difference between the two is the diameter of the nozzle that is required to print with each type of filament. Nozzles for 1.75mm PLA are smaller and require less force to extrude the filament, which can lead to smoother prints.
On the other hand, 2.85 PLA nozzles are larger and require more force, which can sometimes result in coarser prints. Ultimately, the choice between 1.75 mm and 2.85mm PLA filament depends on the type of printer that you are using and your personal preferences.
The adaptation of 1.75 mm filament is now widespread, and the use of 2.85mm filament is fading. Most FDM printers now use 1.75 mm and it is recommended to follow the instructions of your 3D printer as to what diameter filament you use.
You may also see different tolerances for filament, such as +/- 0.03mm, or +/- 0.05mm. These numbers are dimensional accuracies for the width of the filament. Tolerances are important to consider when purchasing 3D printer filament, so it is recommended to check the tolerances of your filament before purchasing it.
Generally, these tolerances should be under +/- 0.05mm for smooth printing results. Our filament has a tolerance of +/- of 0.03mm, meaning that the width of the filament will never go less or more than 0.03mm of the 1.75mm width. A filament that is consistent in its width is of high quality, and will lead to a great print!
PLA filament is also available in a wide range of colors, from classic black and white PLA to metallic and stone tones. Whether you’re looking for a natural look or something more eye-catching, there’s a PLA color to suit your needs. The option for multiple colors allows you to express your creativity, and ours as well.
We are always expanding our collection and experimenting with new creations. When it comes to choosing a color for your project, it’s important to consider both the function and the aesthetic. For example, a brightly colored PLA filament may be perfect for a child’s toy, but it might not be the best choice for a more serious project.
On the other hand, a neutral color like black or white can help to give your project a more professional look. Ultimately, the decision of which color to use is up to you, but it’s important to keep in mind that PLA filament comes in a wide variety of colors, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your project. We also have Clear PLA filament.
Clear filament is of a natural tone and semi-translucent. While clear filament can be applied in many different aesthetic and functional aspects, we find it to be a good solution for prints that you plan to paint on.
Storage of PLA Filament
While PLA filament is a great material for 3D printing, it may be a little tricky to store. PLA and other 3D printer filament tend to absorb moisture from the air, which can cause it to become brittle and lead to a failure in a print. As a result, it’s important to keep PLA filament in an airtight container, preferably in a cool, dry place.
While some rarely face issues with their filament soaking moisture, factors such as geographic location, humidity, and more can contribute to moisture in your filament. If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll be able to store your PLA filament without any issues.
We all have some colors that we use more than others, filaments may stay out for too long and absorb moisture. If this does happen to you, do not worry as you can remove moisture from PLA and get your filament in working condition once again.
There are multiple methods to remove moisture from your filament, the goal is to dehydrate the filament, effectively removing moisture from your plastic. A perfect tool for this is a fruit dehydrator, relatively affordable, and perfect for this use case.
Place your spool of filament inside the dehydrator, and set it to roughly 40-50°C for around 7-8 hours. Do not own a fruit dehydrator? Some air dryers have a dehydration option. Alternatively, the most common method is using an oven.
Just like the dehydrator, set your oven to 40-50°C for around 7-8 hours to dry your filament. Wait until your filament has preheated, oven temperatures vary during preheating, and may reach temperatures that melt your filament. It is best to wait until your oven is at a stable temperature before putting your spool of PLA filament inside.