PLA filament is by far the most popular 3D printer filament in the world. This is because it is easy to 3D print with, it doesn't require an expensive 3D printer, and the results look great.
What is PLA filament?
The abbreviation PLA stands for 'polylactic acid'. PLA is a thermoplastic polyester and it is known for its ease of use and versatile looks. Thanks to these properties and the accessibility of the material, PLA filament is a great choice for beginners, hobbyists, and professionals.
It also excels at rapid prototyping and easy 3D printing. This means it is not only easy to use, you can also 3D print very fast with it. PLA filament has no trouble sticking to the heated bed and it is easy to remove after the print is completed.
PLA filament is made from corn starch, and it is biodegradable. It is a common misconception that biodegradable means it will just degrade on its own. It takes moisture and temperatures of over 60°C for PLA to biodegrade over time.
Available in many different styles and colors, our PLA filaments are a staple of creative 3D printing.
If you should take away one point above all else, it's that PLA filament is all about easy 3D printing. It does not warp, it does not deform when cooled rapidly, and it has good layer adhesion even on unheated surfaces.
Regardless of what kind of creative project you are working on, there is always a PLA filament option for you:
Our PLA filaments
- EasyFil PLA - Use this for the easiest 3D printing experience
- Premium PLA - Enjoy the smooth production of both large and small 3D prints
- ReForm rPLA - Upcycled from EasyFil PLA residue, rPLA is a sustainable alternative
- High Gloss PLA - Doesn't quite shine bright like a diamond, but it's definitely close
- Matt PLA - Lots of detail with a matt look. It is the direct opposite of High Gloss PLA
- Galaxy PLA - Has a glittery effect, comes in galaxy colors, and is great at hiding its layers
- High Precision PLA - The most reliable printing filament due to detailed measuring
3D printing with PLA filament
While getting started with 3D printing may seem daunting, getting started with 3D printing PLA filament is very easy.
First off, make sure you have a 3D printer that's ready to go. It does not even need to have a heated bed if you only want to get started with PLA filament for now. As a rule of thumb, almost any 3D printer that uses a nozzle will do. Also be sure to read the manual.
Secondly, install slicing software. Search "slicer" in a search engine and import the 3D model you want to make into it. This is also where you create a profile or select an existing one that matches your 3D printer.
Thirdly, be sure to check out the recommended slicing settings. All slicing software come with a printing profile (settings) for PLA. If you use a special kind of PLA, it is always advisable to look at the recommendations on the product page.
Last but not least, plug and play! If you're done setting up everything the slicing software will have generated a file. Simply transfer the file to your 3D printer, load up the PLA filament as instructed by the manual of your 3D printer, and start your 3D printing journey!
Tips and tricks
- Did you encounter any issues with your 3D print or the process of 3D printing? You can use search engines to find the answer to virtually any problem you encounter. However, if there are common issues with particular filaments, we may have troubleshooting information on product pages to help you with them.
- Start with something basic and work your way up to more advanced 3D prints and filaments. PLA filament comes in all sorts of colors and with lots of features, but we also have a lot of other filaments available. Composite filaments for creative use and engineering materials for functional products, just to name a few.
We already discussed the many features of PLA filament, so let's recap:
3D printing with PLA filament is easy because it is affordable and prints nicely. This makes it the favorite filament of choice for hobbyists, prototyping and consumer-oriented businesses.
As there are quite a few 3D printing applications out there for PLA filament, here is a shortlist:
- Rapid prototyping
- Toys & gadgets
- Creative projects
- Low-poly figures
- Household item holders
- Chess sets
- And so on..