PLA 3D Printing Filament


PLA 3D Printing Filament is derived from cornstarch, sugar cane, and tapioca root, making it a bio-degradable plastic that emits a sweet popcorn-like aroma when heated. It doesn’t require excessive ventilation or an enclosed build area, though there’s no harm in using either of those to limit any fumes. While it prints at lower temperatures compared to ABS, it’s also generally less finicky and does not require a heated build plate. Somewhat shiny and smooth in appearance, PLA 3D Printing Filament offers minimal flexibility (depending on the object’s geometry) but is also more brittle than ABS. While ABS is robust and hard, PLA can offer smoother layering and better handling of details (once appropriately configured).

PLA 3D Printing Filament doesn’t give off an evil toxic stink when printing with it, so it’s comparatively safer in the home and classroom. And the plastic doesn’t contract so dramatically when cooling down, so you don’t necessarily need a heated bed on your 3D printer (though it helps).

PLA 3D Printing Filament


  • Primary benefits are good strength, user friendly, durability, and some impact resistance
  • Ideal for consumer products, small toys, higher print speeds, smoother layers
  • Fair to good durability
  • Slight flexibility, but more brittle
  • Not soluble
  • Refer to manufacturer guidelines for food safety
  • General print temperature range is 180°C – 230°C
  • Minor shrinkage during cooling, less sensitive compared to ABS
  • Heated bed not required
  • Printing difficulty is easy, once temperature, bed height and speed are set

Data Sheet

Item PLA Polylactic Acid
Primary Benefit Good Strength, User Friendly, Durability, Some Impact Resistance
Ideal for Consumer Products, Small Toys, Higher Print Speeds, Smoother Layers
Durabilty Fair to Good Durability
Flexibility Slight Flexibility, More Brittle
Soluble No
Food Safe Refer to Specific Manufacturer Guidelines
General Print Tempo Range 180℃-230℃
Shrinkage During Cool Some, Less Sensitive to Cooling as Compared to ABS
Heated Bed Recommended Recommended, but Not Required
Size of Prints Variable Size Limited by Print Chamber
Printing Difficulty Easy: Fairly Low Maintenace Once Temperature, Bed Height, Speed are Set
Colors Available Wide Variety Dozens of Colors
Translucent Options Available Yes SEVERAL Varieties
Glow in the dark Options Available Yes

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