In the modern world of industrial 3D printing, many materials can be used for the printing process. One of the most popular of these is polylactic acid, or PLA. PLA has a number of advantages over other materials, making it an attractive option for use in industrial 3D printing. However, there are also some disadvantages which must be considered. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using PLA in industrial 3D printing.
Advantages of PLA
One of the main advantages of PLA is its low cost. PLA is a thermoplastic polymer which is derived from renewable resources, and is usually much cheaper than materials such as ABS or nylon. This means that it can be used to produce parts at a lower cost than other materials.
PLA is also a relatively easy material to work with. It can be extruded at lower temperatures than other materials, and does not require any special equipment or tools to be used. This makes it a great choice for those working with 3D printing on a budget.
Another advantage of PLA is its strength and durability. PLA is a strong and rigid material which is able to withstand high temperatures and pressures. This makes it ideal for use in industrial 3D printing processes.
Finally, PLA is a biodegradable material, which makes it an environmentally friendly choice for use in 3D printing. This means that it is not only cost-effective but also good for the environment.
Disadvantages of PLA
One of the main disadvantages of PLA is its low melting point. PLA has a low melting point of around 150-160°C, which can make it difficult to work with. This means that it may not be suitable for use in industrial 3D printing processes which require high temperatures.
PLA is also prone to warping and shrinking when exposed to high temperatures. This can be a problem in industrial 3D printing processes, as it can lead to parts that are not accurate or have imperfections.
Finally, PLA is not as strong as some other materials, such as ABS or nylon. This means that it may not be suitable for use in applications which require parts to be strong and durable.
In conclusion, PLA is a material which has a number of advantages and disadvantages when used in industrial 3D printing. On the one hand, it is a relatively cheap and easy to use material which is also environmentally friendly. On the other hand, it has a low melting point and is prone to warping and shrinking, and is not as strong as some other materials. When deciding whether or not to use PLA in your 3D printing process, it is important to consider both the pros and cons of this material.