Printernoodle’s Launch Lineup: Why We Chose PLA Filaments
When it comes to 3D printing, whether you are working with an industrial printer or a desktop printer, you have to use a filament to create your project. The most common filaments used are ABS and PLA, as both are common thermoplastics that have numerous applications. Generally speaking, ABS is used in end-use applications where ductility, machinability, and thermal stability is required, whereas, PLA is better suited for rapid prototyping that requires biodegradability, fine details, and superior aesthetics. Here at Printernoodle, we have decided to go ahead and launch with PLA filaments and here is why.
PLA Filaments Are Not Petroleum Based
Unlike other filaments on the market (ABS), which are derived from distillation and polymerization of non-renewable petroleum reserves, polylactic acid or PLA filaments are derived from renewable resources like corn starch, sugar cane, potato starch, and even tapioca roots. When a petroleum-based non-biodegradable plastic is used in 3D printing, it gives off fumes which need to be well ventilated. If the fumes are not well ventilated than those who are sensitive can get easily irritated. PLA Filaments, on the other hand, do not give off any fumes when they are used in 3D printing as they are not petroleum-based, meaning that there is more versatility in where they can be used. This makes them biodegradable, cost-efficient, and since they are the second largest bio-plastic with regards to volume, they can be readily made from existing manufacturing equipment.
PLA Filaments Are Low in Toxicity and Good For The Environment
Beyond this, polylactic acid filaments are popular due to their low toxicity levels, environmentally friendly nature, and their ability to create biodegradable products. In the medical field, items such as pins, rods, and plates can be 3D printed using PLA filaments and since PLA has a low heat resistance, it can be welded, bent or easily repaired. When used in medical suturing or as medical implants, PLA filaments can degrade into the lactic acid of the body within six months to two years, making it a go-to choice for rods, mesh, and pin implants.
In addition to this, PLA can be used to replace a lot of petroleum-based products in the food industry. For individuals or companies who want to create environmentally friendly food packaging, disposable tableware, hygiene products, diapers, or even disposable garments, can do so without worry due to the low toxicity levels of the PLA itself. The only thing that one must keep in mind is that the coloring pigments that come with PLA filaments may not be as harmless, so a word of caution when creating food or hygiene based items.
PLA Is Incredibly Easy To Work With
PLA filaments are considered to be the easiest material to work within the 3D printing industry because the temperature threshold is lower than other commonly used materials, sitting at an extruder temperature of 160-220 degrees Celsius. This makes it a lot easier to work for those who are new to 3D printing as you will not need a fume hood or a heated print bed. PLA can also be sanded down, painted over with acrylic paint, and has less shrinking and warping issues as other filaments as it does not deteriorate as easy under sunlight or moisture. Finally, due to the ability to mould PLA into hard or soft variants, it is a lot easier to work with when making smaller parts that have finer details. If you are new to 3D printing, it is recommended that you begin with PLA filaments as you are more likely to get a successful result that looks aesthetically pleasing.
Printernoodle’s Color Launch Lineup for PLA Filaments
Printernoodle will be launching in the United States this year with its lineup of Winter White, Ruby Red, Electric Blue, Castle Gray, Jack’Orange, and Bubblegum Pin with an expansion launch in Canada and Mexico come 2019.