Overview. Polylactic Acid, commonly known as PLA, is one of the most popular materials used in desktop 3D printing. It is the default filament of choice for most extrusion-based 3D printers because it can be printed at a low temperature and does not require a heated bed.
Why PLA is used in 3D printing?
PLA is a user-friendly thermoplastic with a higher strength and stiffness than both ABS and nylon. With a low melting temperature and minimal warping, PLA is one of the easiest materials to 3D print successfully.
What is PLA used for?
PLA, created with injection moulding, casting or by being spun, is also used as a decomposable packaging material, film or for cups and bags. It is used for compost bags, food packaging, disposable tableware, and loose fill packaging.
What is 3D PLA filament?
What is PLA 3D printer filament? PLA filament is a thermoplastic polymer made strictly from renewable resources. Poly Lactic Acid (PLA), is generated from biodegradable material like cornstarch, potato starch, sugarcane and tapioca roots, and has a smooth, shiny appearance.
What polymer is used in 3D printing?
ABS. ABS filament is the most commonly used 3D printing plastics. It is used in the bodywork of cars, appliances, and mobile phone cases. It is a thermoplastic which contains a base of elastomers based on polybutadiene, making it more flexible, and resistant to shocks.
What does PLA dissolve in?
PLA can be dissolved by solvents such as acetone, ethyl acetate, methyl ethyl ketone, tetrahydrofuran and caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). This allows cleaning of 3D printer nozzles, smoothing PLA prints and dissolving PLA support structures.
How PLA is produced?
The PLA is produced by a direct condensation while the condensation water is continuously removed by the azeotropic distillation. The process includes reduction of the distillation pressure of LA for 2–3 h at 130 °C, and the majority of the condensation water is removed. Catalyst is added along with diphenyl ester.
How much does PLA cost to produce?
Besides food packaging, what are other uses for PLA? When it was first produced, PLA cost about $200 to make one pound. Thanks to innovations in manufacturing processes, it costs less than $1 per pound to manufacture today. Because it’s no longer cost-prohibitive, polylactic acid has the potential for massive adoption.
How does PLA degrade?
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biocompatible polymer that is used widely for biomedical applications. PLA biodegrades into lactic acid (LA) or to carbon dioxide and water. PLA degradation products are metabolized intracellularly or excreted in the urine and breath.
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