Skip to main content

What is PLA

This article is brought to you by Lizzsews.

PLA -> polylactic acid which is a vegetable-based plastic-type material. Derived from renewable sources, for example, corn starch or sugar cane (biomass). Although this name is ambiguous as polylactic acid is not a polyacid but rather a polyester. 

These types of plastics are also known as ‘bioplastics’ as most plastics are created using nonrenewable petroleum reserves. 

Polylactic acid can be created from pre-existing manufacturing equipment therefore they are quite cost efficient to produce. 

Other uses of polylactic acid include:

   - Plastic films

   - Bottles

   - Biodegradable medical devices

PLA facts:

   - Generally, food-safe 

   - Easily sanded

   - Easily painted

   - Biodegradable -> although it is biodegradable, it doesn’t compost fast enough to be composted. 

   - Not suitable to be outside

   - Low heat resistance/low melting point

   - Good dimensional accuracy 

   - Good strength

Polylactic acid -> a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester with a backbone formula.

Bio-based aliphatic polyesters, including PLA, usually have low melting points and glass transition temperature and are hydrophilic. 

Hydrophilic -> they have a moderate/high water intake when exposed to sources of moisture. This affects its mechanical properties and stability. 

For this reason, PLA filament for 3D printing is vacuum sealed and when open will only last so long. You can check if your filament is still good by bending it a little, if it bends, you’re good if it breaks the filament is bad. 

PLA is one of the most commonly used filament types in 3D printing. 

The properties of PLA:

Tg -> ~ 45 - 60 degrees Celsius

Tm -> ~ 150 - 160 degrees Celsius

Glass transition temperature -> Tg -> the temperature when a polymer transitions from a ductile material to hard, brittle material. 

(For the heat of the printer bed, but this does not mean to set this as the temperature)

Polymer -> of a class, natural or synthetic, substances composed of very large molecules. Polymer examples inside living organisms include proteins, cellulose, and nucleic acids. PLA is in the polymer class: polyesters. 

The melting point for a double-stranded nucleic acid -> Tm -> is the temperature when 50% of the strands are in double-stranded form and the other 50% are in single-stranded form. “Midway in the melting curve”.

When using PLA set these settings:

Bed temperature -> 45-60 degrees Celsius 

Extruder -> 190-220 degrees Celsius 

Cooling -> set to 100% (can ooze without a cooling fan)

Leave a comment below and let me know if you have used PLA filament! And don't forget to subscribe to stay up to date with all of Lizzsews new articles. See you next time!


Popular posts from this blog

10 Things You Need To Start Machine Embroidery Today

 This article is brought to you by  Lizzsews . How to start machine embroidery! Here’s everything that you need to get started with machine embroidery! Without spending too much! Are you interested in sewing? Recommended read:  10 things you'll need to start sewing! 1. You are going to need an embroidery machine . You can use any embroidery machine you want. Here are a couple of examples: The Brother se600. This machine can do both sewing and embroidery, and is the best budget embroidery machine! I highly suggest this machine. The brother pe550D! This is an embroidery-only machine, with awesome Disney embroidery designs! The brother se1900. I recommend the Brother brand for sewing and embroidery machines. To note here: determine your budget, determine how much you have to spend on embroidery supplies (and blanks ) and how much you have to spend on your machine. Purchase the largest embroidery hoop that you can afford! The se600 is an amazing machine and I highly recomm

8 Reasons Why Your Upper Thread Is Shredding On Your Embroidery Machine

 This article is brought to you by  Lizzsews . Here are some reasons why your top thread might be shredding while you’re embroidering! Starting machine embroidery is definitely a challenge, and troubleshooting is hard.  Recommended read: 10 Things you need to start machine embroidery today Often when your top thread is shredding, it’s caused by when the thread goes through the eye of the needle or while it’s going through the thread guides.  1. A dull or bent needle How long has it been since you’ve changed that needle? It might be time to swap it out! A needle only lasts about 8-10 hours of stitching, this amount of time may vary depending on what you are making. It’s good to have lots of needles on hand. Recommended read: When should I change the needle for machine embroidery 2. Are you using the right needle for the project? Are you embroidering heavier fabrics? Like denim or leather? If so, you’ll want to use a heavier needle size like 90/14. If you’re just embroidering mid-weight

Guide To The Three Main Machine Embroidery Stabilizers

 This article is brought to you by  Lizzsews . Here is everything that you need to know about the three main machine embroidery stabilizers. Stabilizers are important in machine embroidery; they prevent puckering and support the fabric.  The stabilizer goes underneath the fabric you are embroidering. Although there are some stabilizers that will go on top of certain types of fabric, this is called a topper.  A bottom stabilizer is always needed, you can never embroider without stabilizer, but a stabilizer topper is only needed for certain blanks. The three main types of stabilizers are cutaway, tearaway, and wash away.  The first is a cutaway stabilizer. A cutaway stabilizer can be used on clothes and many different types of fabric. The cutaway stabilizer is permanent and is mainly designed for knit fabric. It is non-woven and helps get rid of pulled or sagging stitches.  The cutaway stabilizer has a lot of stretch resistance and stays intact after wearing, using, and launderin