3D printers have eased operations and time of manufacturing by adding PLA filament.
PLA filament is popular because it’s effective, efficient, and sustainable compared to other material.
3D printing’s growing trend is allows it to be in schools and sectors everywhere. It will force the manufacturing industry to go from subtractive manufacturing, to additive manufacturing.
A centerpiece of the additive manufacturing movement is the PLA filament. This is why it’s worth going over what the best PLA filament is.
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What Is PLA Filament?
PLA is also known as Polylactic Acid and it’s one of the most efficient materials used for 3D printing processes.
PLA doesn’t require a heated bed, and can carry out manufacturing at low temperatures.
It’s made out of sugarcane and maize so it does not release toxic substances when printing, but the user should avoid too much direct exposure when using PLA.
PLA Filament Advantages
Easy To Print
PLA’s ability to heat and cool down without shrinking the material makes it effective and easy to print in comparison to other similar materials.
PLA filament is cost-effective because the materials needed to make it don’t cost much.
PLA filament is a corn-based material and will break down naturally over time.
Classroom and Office Friendly
Since PLA is corn-based, this means it’s non-toxic and is considered safe to use in classrooms as well as offices.
PLA is stiff which means that it maintains form. This means models will be durable which makes it great for printing a range of different products.
Currently, there are a plethora of companies offering PLA filaments, hence it is crucial to ensure that it covers all the attributes and additional features.
Here is the list of criteria that should be noted down before buying the product:
This attribute focuses on the tensile strength of the PLA filament which helps in determining how durable 3D printed objects will be.
Flexibility is the key to the success of many 3D printed products. A flexible 3D print is unlikely to break when put in use. It might seem similar to strength, but flexibility is all about the breaking point for a model if it gets bent.
PLA filament must be reputed for smoothness as it eliminates the possibility of clogging.
Odor is important for obvious reasons. Look into each filament you’re choosing because even though all of them are PLA, you need to keep in mind all of them aren’t manufactured the same.
This includes other extended features like transparency, resistance to temperature changes, and the proportion of mixed materials.
This attribute focuses on the ability to adhere to the printing platform it is released on. The sweet spot for adhesion is being able to stick firmly to the print bed while printing, and being able to easily take it off when done.
PLA 3D Printing Requirements
Before 3D printing with PLA filaments, let’s look at the necessary hardware requirements:
Temperature must be 45-60°C, a heated bed is optional and the enclosure is not required.
To build a surface bed PEI (Polyetherimide), you’ll need a glass plate, glue stick, and painter’s tape.
Required temperature is 190-200°C, and no special hot-end is required.
A cooling fan is required to make sure the prints form nicely. Without a good fan, your models will look tragic.
PLA is more suitable for models whose appearance and form weigh heavier than strength/durability. For example, you may want to use PLA for cosplay material since cosplay is all about appearance.
Other examples include prototyping, props, pastry molds, containers, and accurate models.
Apart from this, PLA is also widely used in the automotive industry mainly in printing tools, jigs, and fixtures. PLA is also eco-friendly as well as user-friendly which makes it suitable for engineering departments.
However, it is essential to know that PLA is brittle and cannot withstand high temperatures when printed for the first time. Please be aware of the capabilities of the materials you’re using in general.
PLA is great for different applications though. Depending on the PLA filament you’re using, it’s possible to use it for both cosmetic and functional products.
What Are The Best PLA Filaments?
Duramic 3D Premium PLA Plus Printer Filament
With improved mechanical qualities and high-quality production material from the U.S, 3D printing is easier with this. This PLA filament ensures no clogs, bubbles, or tangles for enhanced performance.
The user-friendliness of this product is great because it blends in easily with 3D printing technology. The digital caliper system adds a feather touch to the precision while using Duramic’s PLA printer filament.
The diameter tolerance is 0.05mm which is recommended for quality products as it increases accuracy and precision.
The 1.75mm diameter is one of the major reasons for the consistency of color throughout the process. The affordability of this product is another reason why it’s a great choice.
Aside from the fact that it is popular among 3D printer users, this is a compatible product for personal use. This is an effective PLA filament if you want to print at 200-230 °C, running at 60mm/s on 0.2mm layer height.
The Duramic PLA filament sets the bar for the type of PLA filament you should be looking at. It’s a great combination between quality and price.
- Smooth printing process
- Precise outcome
- Less adherence to heat
- Complex settings to start printing
HATCHBOX PLA 3D Printer Filament
HATCHBOX is known to deliver high-quality models in the community.
With 1 kg spool and a 1.75mm diameter, this product is among the best in its category. The product has strong durability which makes this PLA Filament better than other similar products.
The recommended temperature for extrusion in this product is 180-210 °C which is slightly lower than what most filaments require.
The Polylactic Acid assists in odorless printing which avoids heating the bed. It can be the best alternative if the user wants an eco-friendly product to reduce toxic emissions.
I would recommend this product to almost everyone who uses 3D Printing technology because it is nature friendly and fulfills all the requirements that one needs in 3D printing PLA filament.
- Consistent modelling
- Color stability
- Tolerance should produce 0.03 results instead of 0.05
OVERTURE PLA Filament
Designed with an exclusive clog-free patent, Overture also takes care of packaging before they ship it to the customers.
Overture PLA Filament is worth its price. Besides its price, this PLA Filament is environmentally friendly.
The compatibility this product offers with most of the existing 3D printers being used makes it unique. An enhanced feature that Overture provides is the self-adaptive control system alongside the advanced diameter measuring.
Overall, this filament provides a smooth experience and I would recommend it to people who are searching for PLA filament.
You shouldn’t spend too much time printing this though because of the possibility of harmful emissions. Considering all the factors that one should look out for while buying PLA filament, Overture is a trustworthy brand which is an additional benefit.
- Wide compatibility
- Easy to use
- Accurate control system
- Smooth printing
- No backup warranty
- Adhesion issues
- Irregular diameter consistency
NovaMaker PLA Filament
The layer bonding this filament imparts is simple to use and produces good models. Unlike most of the competition, the plastic churns out a sweet aroma while printing which is a great advantage.
The quality of the filament is durable too. One needs to store it in a sealed container after its use so that the material does not get brittle too soon. The temperature needs to be checked twice as well to avoid uncertainties.
The recommended temperature for extrusion is 190-220 °C, and for the heating bed, it is 40-50 °C. The accuracy of NovaMaker’s PLA filament is dependent on the precise diameter which is made out of strict production guidelines.
These guidelines restrict the knotting caused in the filament during the printing process.
What I liked the most apart from the aroma is it’s not toxic. Some of the products in the past have been toxic which reduces production time, but with this filament, you won’t have to worry about it.
- Bubble and tangle free
- Smooth printing
- Precise dimension
- Sweet aroma
- Minimal Toxicity
- Increased time to print
SUNLU Clear PLA Filament
Toughness describes this product. SUNLU provides premium quality material which means printing quality is good. Low shrinkage and a high level of purity are the top priorities SUNLU aims for.
Boasting a dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.02mm, this product sets itself apart with precision. The recommended bed temperature is 70 °C while the nozzle/extrusion temperature should be between 215-230 °C.
This filament is eco-friendly which makes it one of the leading choices for customers. I opted for this product because strength is a leading factor for someone looking to create prototypes. So, if you’re looking for functional material then SUNLU is the perfect material to use.
Due to the premium quality and smooth printing process, I would highly recommend this PLA filament to those searching for one.
- Dimensional accuracy
- High-quality material
- Material tangles
Deciding Which PLA Filament...
In conclusion, my number one pick goes to Hatchbox PLA 3D printer filament because of its tolerance, color range, and print quality. It’s also a great combination of affordability and availability.
Hatchbox in comparison to other PLA filaments is more multi-functional. Apart from printing gears or cases for electrical devices, it’s also useful for printing jewelry or bobbleheads. Hatchbox is great for both practical and cosmetic products.
Lastly, Hatchbox has a large community that vouches for its premium quality. A dedicated community is great proof as to how good a product is.
You should choose what is best for you after thorough research though. Keep in mind what filament suits your 3D printer the best.