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PLA

Polylactic Acid, more commonly known as PLA, is one of the most frequently used materials in 3D printing. Its popularity comes from its ease of use, organic nature, and relatively strong mechanical properties. PLA is also inexpensive making it a great entry-level material. PLA is made up of naturally occurring, organic lactic acid chains which generally makes it useful in organic settings such as medical applications. Its chemical nature also makes it easy to recycle and reuse. PLA also boasts strong mechanical properties and user-friendly thermal properties that make it easy to print with. For those looking for a place to start in additive manufacturing, PLA is an excellent choice.

PLA is a great material for applications that require rapid prototyping and strong parts. Its ease of use and low cost make it suitable when a part may be frequently reprinted as is the case in prototyping and architecture. For those who are still learning to 3D print, or for those who are teaching others, PLA is a great introduction to 3D printing. The thermal properties of PLA also make it useful as an alternative to lost wax casting where the PLA is burned away instead of a wax.

Explore other Materials

ABS
ABS Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is another common 3D printing material with popularity that rivals PLA. ABS’s structure contains a
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Flexibles
Flexibles Thermoplastic Polyurethanes (TPU) are a category of materials that feature rubber-like mechanical properties. Parts made from TPU tend to
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Nylon
Nylon Nylon is a range of materials that are often used for industrial engineering applications. Its chemical nature allows it
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PC
PC Polycarbonate (PC) is a high performance material intended for use in engineering and industrial settings. As suggested by its
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PET
PET Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is a durable material with a glossy appearance. Outside of PLA and ABS, PET is a
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