PLA is made from eco-friendly, organic materials such as sugar cane and maize. Because it is made from these renewable raw materials which absorb carbon dioxide during growth, it has been considered to have a net benefit on greenhouse gas emissions!
Nope. In solid form, PLA is non-toxic. In fact, it is often used in medical implants that degrade within the human body over time.
Tensile strength - 61MPa+
Flexural strength - 48MPa+
Shrink rate - 0.37-0.41%
Heat distortion temperature - 49°C+
IS IT FOOD SAFE?
Not particularly. There are some PLA filaments marketed as food-safe but we wouldn't recommend 3D printing a product required for use around food - unfortunately the gaps between printed layers are great for germs!
CAN I CHOOSE A COLOUR?
Yep, pretty much any colour you fancy! In fact, you can also get sparkly, glow in the dark, colour changing, fluorescent and transparent! If that wasn't enough, you can also get filament with other natural ingredients that give your product an interesting finish; bamboo, hemp, coffee, beer (!), olive wood, cork, coconut and even algae! Of course, all of these are still biodegradable!
As PLA is made from natural ingredients, it is termed a bio-plastic. This means it will biodegrade in certain conditions over a relatively short period of time. In addition, it is a thermoplastic, which means that it can be melted and re-used over and over again!
CAN IT BE PAINTED?
Absolutely, no problem. Most paint types will work, but we'd recommend acrylic or oil based.