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3D Printing Filament Fight: PLA is overtaking ABS

Currently, 46% of 3D printing material is PLA and 20% is ABS. PLA is a great material for beginners because it can print consistently in addition to the fact that any mistakes or failed prints are relatively inexpensive.

Why PLA?

  1. Inexpensive, compared to other materials except for ABS it is comparatively cheaper.
  2. Shape retention, it is a common use plastic and is biodegradable
  3. Easy to print with
  4. Variety of filament companies to choose from
  5. Nearly every if not every FDM printer can print PLA
  6. Recommended by most forums as the best beginner material

PLA is available in a broad range of colors and also comes in a variety of composites, which can give it the appearance of wood or metal, for example. Like ABS filament, PLA degrades from humidity in the ambient air – store it in vacuum bags or containers. PLA filaments are typically a composite that combines a PLA base material with wood dust, or other powdered materials derivatives.

We can find different PLA filament, like high-quality PLA, cheap PLA, or undyed natural PLA, undyed natural PLA is food safe. Some tools in your kitchen may even be made with it. One thing must keep in mind is that, many desktop 3D printers use a brass nozzle. Brass can leach contaminants from the air. You can switch to a stainless steel nozzle to decrease the probability of absorbing harmful chemicals.

PLA is one of the eco-friendliest options for 3D printers; polyastic acid is sourced from natural products like sugar cane and corn starch and is therefore biodegradable. Available in soft and hard forms, plastics made from polyastic acid are expected to dominate the 3D printing industry in the coming years. Hard PLA is the stronger and therefore more ideal material for a broader range of products. While cheap PLA (soft PLA in a way) is great for experimentation and is just another reason for its widespread popularity! That is why so many DIY users use it as the hands-on materials.

Back to the hard PLA, Let’s find out the KEY FEATURES of hard PLA:

  • Engineering-grade performance with the convenience of PLA
  • Low melting point
  • Different colors
  • Decreased brittleness
  • Superior tensile strength
  • Improved elastic modulus
  • Better impact resistance
  • Fewer nozzle jams

Is that good enough reminds you about the application based on its features, sure, we can apply in many fields like mold work, lost foam casting, investment casting with molds, ets.

With the development of 3D printing materials, 3D printing is flexible enough to allow manufacturers to determine the shape, texture and strength of a product. Best of all, these qualities can be achieved with far fewer steps than what is typically required in traditional means of production. Moreover, these products can be made with various types of 3D printing materials.

It is not far that we can see ,tools made with PLA will be getting more and more various; they will appear in more different area in manufacturing and your daily life. 

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