Polylactic Acid, commonly known as PLA, is one of the most popular materials used in 3D printing. Green renewable sources such as starch, corn, or sugar cane create Polylactic Acid, PLA material, or PLA filament. This means that it is better for the environment than other materials because it can be recycled making it the perfect material to use in the process of prototyping and modeling with 3D printing.
Features of PLA filament
PLA filament is a material that is extremely reliable in terms of availability. Made from renewable resources, PLA material is completely different from plastics that are petroleum-based which are made from oil or natural gases that are in short supply throughout the world.
PLA material is compostable which makes it completely different from other types of 3D printing materials. The breakdown of traditional plastics takes hundreds of years, and will likely never breakdown, especially when they end up in the landfill where there is no air or sunlight to start the deterioration process. However, PLA material can breakdown into natural elements in commercial compost facilities.
It is a known fact that, when melting, plastics can pose a risk to health as they release harmful and toxic chemicals. In contrast to this, as PLA material is biologically based, it doesn’t produce harmful toxic fumes when it gets incinerated and instead ends up in a composting facility.
Industries that use PLA material
As PLA is a very adaptable material that comes with many benefits, it is common to find its use in a number of industries. Consequently, the applications for which it can be used are developing and growing. Printing with PLA material brings a multitude of benefits, and it creates new possibilities for manufacturers.
The fact that PLA filament is better for the environment certainly works in its favor and this means that it will continue to play a major role in 3D printing. Since it’s easier on the environment, it also means that businesses are considered to be doing their bit for the environment. As a result, manufacturers can continue to produce products that are durable, strong, and reliable.
As PLA material is seen as a safe alternative to traditional plastics, it is now being used in food packaging. However, it is used because of its ability to package food as it can be disposed of extremely easily and will not harm the environment.
The automobile industry is constantly looking at ways to build vehicles that are environmentally friendly and so, PLA material is the perfect option when it comes to prototyping car parts. End-products can be found in plastic trim and plastic on dashboards.
Many household appliances can be found which contain PLA material. This is because it’s a plastic that offers environmental benefits as well as benefits for the application for which it is used.