The Best PLA Filaments: Which is Right for You?

3D printing is a technology that has come a long way in just the last few years. What used to be only available to industrial companies and people with an engineering background, now anyone can acquire a 3d printer and begin making their own creations.

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One of the most important decisions that you will have to make when buying your first 3d printer is what material you want it to print in. There are many different plastics available on the market today, but for beginners, we recommend PLA filament because it’s easy to use and doesn’t require any heated bed or special hardware like ABS does.

With such an increase in popularity over the past few years choosing the right filament for your 3D printer can be overwhelming. PLA is one of the best options for beginners because it’s easier to use than ABS but still offers a high-quality finish and prints at a lower temperature which makes it more earth-friendly.

PLA has been rated as the most biodegradable material on the market today by experts in sustainability so you can feel good about your choice here today. This article will primarily focus on the best PLA filaments for you to choose which 3d printing filament is best for you.

PLA 3D Printer Filament Is Cheap, High-Quality, And Easy To Use

Due to relatively low pricing and ease of use PLA filament has become a popular material for the everyday 3D printing user whether it be for personal or industrial use.

engineer designing medical equipment
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PLA is an eco-friendly thermoplastic that doesn’t use any binding agents, making it easy to recycle and biodegradable after disposal.

It is also a non-toxic material that doesn’t have any harmful fumes so it’s safe to use in an enclosed space.

PLA filament has been designed specifically for the everyday user and will print reliably with most home desktop printers without requiring advanced skills or knowledge about modeling software. PLA can be used on almost every printer.

The melting temperature of PLA filament generally ranges from 180 degrees Celsius to 220 degrees Celsius (356 Fahrenheit). This makes printing on most desktop printers practical.

PLA can be printed with a wide variety of textures and is very easy to use when compared to other materials. It’s also inexpensive, which makes it the perfect material for prototyping or printing items that will only be used once such as replacement parts or toys.

Commonly plastics are made of oil but PLA is actually made from corn starch found in many popular crops such as corn. The process of turning those starches into plastics is very environmentally friendly.

PLA filament can be recycled and used again which reduces your carbon footprint when you are printing at home or for a school project.

PLA over in Asia isn’t actually made from crops but Cassava roots, whereas many other countries around the world will use sugarcane.

Many companies produce PLA for use in a range of industries including healthcare, automotive, and the aerospace industry.

PLA is usually available to buy at your local hardware store or online on sites such as Amazon.

PLA is a thermoplastic unlike many other plastics used for 3D Printing. Thermoplastic becomes soft and deforms when heated and hardens as it cools making it the perfect material to extrude from your machine and build your projects which is what makes it one of the best PLA filament money can buy.

PLA is best used when you are printing with high detail, using a lower temperature, and need to print quickly without much fuss or worry about the heat.

PLA can be printed on low-temperature printers such as Makerbot Replicator Mini which means it doesn’t require a heated bed for prints to work correctly. It also requires less cooling than other filaments.

One of the main attractions for PLA filament is that it is super easy to print with, making it very beginner-friendly. PLA is so easy to print that it can be printed without a heated bed.

It doesn’t require as much cooling either and it’s also cheap, in comparison to other materials like ABS filament or PETG filament which are more difficult to work with than PLA.

What Is PLA Filament Used For?

PLA has a multitude of uses and can make items such as jewelry, phone cases, and other everyday items. That’s why it’s so popular! It can be used in both home printing and industrial settings with the appropriate tools. PLA if mixed with other elements such as carbon fiber or PHA can print functional parts like gears or bearings.

People tend to get confused when it comes to whether or not PLA is food safe. It doesn’t help that PLA is biodegradable. Also adding to the confusion is the fact that PLA is also used for medical purposes. Some stents and plates are made of PLA and eventually, the body breaks down the PLA turning it into a harmless lactic acid.

But unlike ABS and other 3D filaments, PLA is not food safe because it has microscopic cracks. This is why Industrial plastic products are made so that their surfaces are smooth on a microscopic level. But most objects from consumer-level 3D printers have small crevices. Why is this a problem?

Well, if you put something in the microwave with PLA plastic it will start to smell. This is because microwaves don’t like anything that has tiny crevices or cracks–they want a nice flat surface for cooking your food on.PLA filament is also Lightweight and Strong. It is a lightweight plastic that has excellent strength properties, making it a popular choice for hobbyists who wish to create functional parts or models with an added mechanical advantage.

A study found that bacteria and microbes can live on the surface of the plastic. This is hard to clean. If you use cleaning agents, they don’t go into these crevices, so spoons or forks made of PLA shouldn’t be used for long periods because there will be germs accumulating in microscopic holes. This includes plates as well.

The low price point of PLA filament when compared to other materials also makes it a popular choice for budget-conscious consumers.

PLA Filament Brands

Hatchbox PLA

hatchbox pla

US-based Hatchbox offers reliable PLA filament at an affordable price, making it the perfect all-around, everyday filament.

Hatchbox has gained popularity as a type of PLA filament sold on Amazon. Best known for its high-quality product and reduced CO2 emissions, Hatchbox PLA is a chosen material among thousands of satisfied users.

One of the benefits of using this PLA is that it combines everything you would look for in a PLA. Its tolerance is great, colors are vibrant, it’s flexible yet strong like a standard PLA material, and has amazing detail resolution.

Prusament PLA

Creating the most popular 3D printer wasn’t enough for Josef Prusa and his team of engineers. Now they offer exclusively manufactured filament – on a budget.

Prusa’s commitment to quality and reliability extends throughout all of our material sourcing. We use only the highest-quality PLA resin in every one of our filament grades, ensuring that regardless of your printing needs, we have a product and materials for you. One of the most distinctive qualities of this product is its manufacturing precision, as its filament has an accuracy twice that that of a standard spool. As well, customers can scan QR codes for every spool in order to check the quality control parameters online, a feature not included with most competitor’s products. The PLA filament is available in many different colors, with a 1.75 mm diameter. Making it a great choice for 3d printers and 3d pens.

Amolen PLA

PLA filament manufacturer Amolen offers PLA in a wide variety of colors and unique composites. These are just a few reasons company owners should give Amolen products consideration when purchasing filaments for their 3D printing needs.

One Shenzhen-based filament manufacturer has won its reputation for inexpensive spools. Available in 1.75 mm diameter, customers can choose between 0.5 or 1 kg spools. Our PLA prints were smooth with nice layer adhesion. The material was easy to work with but require adhesive for the printing bed.

To its disadvantage, the spool comes in a non-resealable plastic bag. This means that you may need an alternate solution for keeping your filament away from moisture if it is not stored in a cool and dry location.

Polymaker PolyMax PLA

Polymaker was founded in Shanghai, China, and has quickly become one of the best 3D filament manufacturers on the market. PolyMax PLA is actually tougher than ABS when it comes to impact resistance while still maintaining PLA’s easy-to-extrude properties. This material also doesn’t have warping problems or toxic fumes, and.

The PolyMax filament has a high melting point and is resistant to UV light. It also provides an exceptionally strong print result at all build heights, even in overhangs and bridges.

This PLA filament is of good quality. It will not be cheap, but it is close to ABS without actually being ABS.

Proto Pasta PLA

proto pasta

Proto-pasta is a company that started out with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign. They now offer great products that are reliable and high-quality. Their products are compatible with 3D printers, so everyone can use them under the same conditions.

However, Proto-pasta has been focused on the quality of its materials over the last few years. They have just released a PLA filament that looks nice and is also good for electronics. They now sell filaments for this as well, such as Composite Conductive PLA. This is because customers want it!

They sell expensive filament but it is worth the price because the quality is good. Their new HT-PLA is a type of plastic that can be heated to high temperatures. This means it won’t warp or melt like other types of plastics do.

Best Overall OVERTURE PLA Filament

OVERTURE PLA Filament

best overall pla filament

Features

  • Clog and Bubble Free
  • Less Tangle
  • Consistent and easy to use

With these high-quality, eco-friendly filament materials at the best price out there on the market today, you will never have to think again about investing in your 3D printing needs. The OVERTURE PLA Filament’s quality is unmatched and works great with printers that are still utilizing a heated bed. No pulling or breaking off when being laid down during production thus making for less machinery wear and tear over time! Not only does this implement an earth-conscious design with no need to use more electricity than necessary which would make you feel good about your purchase – leading to more innovation of our planet benefiting your company as it did ours; but also easy enough for beginners and hobbyists alike who want something they can rely on due to its durability.

Best Budget 3D Printer PLA 1.75 mm Filament

3D Printer PLA 1.75 mm Filament

budget pla filament

Features

  • Eco Friendly Materials
  • Wide Variety of Colors
  • Surprisingly Good Quality

3D printer filament is ready for use in your 3D pen, printer, and woven filament weaving. The 1.75mm 3D printing filament PLA is perfect for both 3D printers and 3D printing pens due to PLA’s specific thermal and print properties. This product prints at a temperature of 190-220 °, with an accuracy range of +/- 0.02 mm depending on the special printer being used, resulting in precise printed parts that are also remarkably durable. The 1.75mm pellet shape will make your project warp free. Nor will it emit an odor when heated, clogging the nozzle or causing bubbles while printing as many other filaments can do – making it a high quality and user experience every time you use them! You’ll be delighted by our variations in color.

Runner Up HATCHBOX PLA 3D Printer 1.75 mm Filament

HATCHBOX PLA 3D Printer 1.75 mm Filament

hatchbox pla

Features

  • Multitude of Colors
  • Ecofriendly Materials
  • High Quality Material

Hatchbox PLA 3D Printer Filament is here to help you design and manufacture prototypes, models, or parts easily. Our 1 kg spools provide an ample amount of material for printing while the ease with which our filament can be used enables anyone to accomplish their goals smoothly. Choose from a wide variety of colors and sizes today!

Imagine what you could do with the black HATCHBOX PLA 3D Printer Filament. With a Dimensional Accuracy of +/- 0.03 mm, there is no need to worry if your finished product has turned out just how you imagine it in your mind’s eye. This filament comes vacuumed sealed and dried with a desiccant for clean use during printing, and 1 kg provides an adequate amount of filament that will leave plenty more to create other things or print repetitions of the same objects multiple times without running out!

Best Under $10 Gizmo Dorks PLA Filament 1.75mm 200g for 3D Printers

Gizmo Dorks PLA Filament

Features

  • Great for a Budget
  • High Quality Material

Gizmo Dorks PLA Filament is the greenest filament there is. A petroleum-free 3D printing material made from plant materials, Gizmo Dorks PLA Filament forms prints with a pleasing look and feel, will not warp due to low melt temperature, does not need heated print beds, and can be recycled in compost facilities. It comes in an array of beautiful colors so you’re sure to find one that fits your project needs. The earth-friendly aspect of this product makes it appealing for those who desire to leave a smaller carbon footprint while still utilizing all the benefits that come with 3D printing without compromise and saving consumers money with such low prices!

Best Bundle 1.75mm 3D Printer Normal PLA Filament 12 Bundle

3D Printer Normal PLA Filament 12 Bundle

bundle filament

Features

  • 100% Tangle Free
  • High Quality
  • Compatible with most devices

3D printing is one of the most popular types of technology nowadays. As with all technology, 3D printers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Award-winning 1.75mm 3D Printer Normal PLA Filament 12 Bundle contains 12 spools containing 500g per spool which produce an impressive 6kgs (12 lbs) total and guarantees you have enough filament for any kind of project. With the Most Popular Colors Pack, this pack includes colors that are immensely suitable for various kinds of projects as listed above! With our high-quality products, your print should always turn out perfect while maintaining your peace of mind knowing that your product is 100% tangle-free before opening!

Best PLA+ 3D Fuel Pro PLA+ 3D Printing Filament

3D Fuel Pro PLA+ 3D Printing Filament

PLA+

Features

  • High Impact Resistance
  • Clog, Bubble and Tangle Free
  • Dimensional Precision

Creative minds demand quality products, and that’s where 3D Fuel comes in. We’ve got high-quality filament for all your prototyping needs from heavy-duty plastics to biodegradable materials. Plus, our assortment of colors will make sure you’re getting the perfect extrusion every time. Give yourself an advantage with 3D Fuel pro plus PLA filament!

If you need filament that will get the job done, our 3D filaments are the perfect solution for highly detailed prints and production-ready prototypes with fine detail and smooth surface finish. Our high-quality materials produce precise details in an attractive product that is easy to work with and quick to produce; there’s no better choice when it comes to producing professional products without sacrificing time or cost! Standard benefits include having a durable material that provides a good strength-to-weight ratio, has low shrinkage, makes modeling easier because of its excellent UV stability resin system, allows printing under high temperatures making post-processing more efficient – all while providing some of the best color recognition which ensures your idea is exactly what you wanted.

Best 5kg Filament Tianse 3D Printer PLA Filament 1.75mm

Tianse 3D Printer PLA Filament

5kg

Features

  • Low Shrinkage
  • Non Toxic
  • Ecofriendly Materials from USA

The Tianse PLA filament is created to perfection! The raw materials are sourced from the USA, and it’s eco-friendly and has an ideal weight. With a 7.87″ diameter spool and 3.78″ width, it will work well with almost any 3D printer or 3D pen on the market! PLA is a versatile material that melts smoothly for smoother printing while also providing for a consistent feed. Ideal extrusion temperatures range from 180°C to 220°C with no clogging or bubbling when you order this perfect Tianse product!

Best Glow in the Dark DURAMIC 3D PLA Filament 1.75mm Glow in The Dark 

DURAMIC 3D PLA Filament

glow in dark pla filament

Features

  • Offers both PLA and PLA+
  • Accurate and Consistent printing
  • Smooth and Stable printing

DURAMIC 3D PLA Filament 1.75mm Glow in The Dark is the newest filament that will let you print models, parts, and other creations with incredible ease and precision. As a premium PLA+ plastic, it outputs excellent mechanical properties while displaying phosphorescent effects on UV light after 10 seconds of being charged by bright light. With consistent color output and accuracy in size, this glow in the dark material offers an exceptional level of quality for the user who demands both functionality and style from their filaments – all at an affordable price point!

Best HTPLA Proto-pasta PLA 1.75 mm filament

Proto-pasta PLA 1.75 mm filament

proto pasta

Features

  • Exceptional Performance
  • Highest Quality Materials

HTPLA, the latest material from Proto-pasta is designed to be comparable to standard PLA but with no heated bed required and printing in a range of 190-230°C. With its slight decrease in shrinkage, HTPLA helps keep prints stronger and more durable even when exposed to high temperatures such as those found on annealing racks for extended periods.

Perfected in the USA with Quality and Customer Service as top priorities, you can trust Proto-pasta HTPLA to produce consistent results whether prototyping or demonstrating your full collection!

Is PLA Food Safe?

PLA is made by extracting natural materials from potatoes, corn, and tapioca to produce a bioplastic that can be used in 3D printing.

From this information, you can easily assume that it is safe to use because it comes from raw materials. Is that true?

PLA is safe for food when you use it in contact with food. But you should be careful. PLA can be dangerous if it touches a hot end of the 3D printer.

The mixture of heated and cooled chemicals in 3D printing poses a serious threat to people’s health.

Furthermore, the coloring used in PLA is a clear indication that not all plastics are food-safe. Also, the tiny holes and cracks created on a printed object are more likely to ensure harmful bacteria and germs thrive.

PLA is safe to use for simple things, like water. But it may have bad effects on your health if you use it a lot.

Is PLA Heat Resistant?

Yes, high-temperature PLA (Proto-Pasta) can deflect up to 88°C compared to 45°C for standard PLA.

Because it is not as easy to melt and deform at high temperatures, this makes PLA a better choice for printing moving parts such as RepRap pieces or gears.

Is PLA UV Resistant?

One of the standout features of PLA that makes it so popular is its resistance to sunlight which means you can use it in outdoor environments without fear.

Conclusion

PLA filament is a great material for printing, but it can be difficult to find the right one. We hope this guide has helped you decide which brand of filament best suits your need and we are here to help if you have any questions about our products or anything 3D Printing related.

FAQ

What is the strongest PLA?

Polycarbonate filament

The strongest 3D printer filament is polycarbonate. Tests have shown it is strong and tough, and that it resists damage. Polycarbonate has a PSI of 9,800. PLA has 7,250 PSI

What is the difference between PLA and PLA+?

Though there are slight differences between PLA and PLA+, the printing speed, temperature settings, etc. will be nearly identical on each type of filament. Research suggests that the quality of surface finish is slightly better for PLA+.

How long will Pla last?

15 years

It can take up to 6 months for the object to develop cracks and show signs of decay. The length of time depends on the condition of your soil sample. PLA will take a long time to degrade in a room with pressure and temperature. In a regular room, it will last for up to 15 years.

Is PETG stronger than PLA?

PLA is easier to 3D Print than PETG. PLA is more forgiving when it comes to settings. PETG is more durable, stronger, and impact resistant. Technically, you don’t need a heated bed to print both materials.

Is ABS harder than PLA?

PLA is stronger and stiffer than ABS. One bad thing about PLA is that it is poor with heat. But ABS is weaker and less rigid, but also tougher and lighter. That makes it a better plastic for prototyping applications.

Why does PLA get brittle?

After 6 or more months, PLA Filaments become brittle and break easy. This is because they absorb water from the air. For example, ABS & PLA are both hygroscopic materials that readily absorb water from the air. After six months of use, these plastics become brittle and break easily due to moisture absorption.

Is PLA waterproof?

Polylactic acid is not waterproof. Polylactic acid is made from plants like rice, potatoes, and corn. PLA will take a few months to be broken down by water, methane, and carbon dioxide.

Who makes the best PLA?

Hatchbox sells PLA filament for a reasonable price. It is good for everyday use, and the quality is high. Hatchbox has many satisfied customers who have reviewed it on Amazon.

Where can I buy cheap PLA filaments?

Hatchbox

Hatchbox has cheap PLA filament. They are not the cheapest but they are still good. Hatchbox is one of the best deals out there because of its quality and reviews.

Is PLA plastic strong?

PLA is a material that is friendly to the environment. It can be printed easily at low temperatures and looks great. PLA is strong, but it’s not as strong as other materials with a tensile strength of 7,250 psi.

Is PLA toxic?

Tests showed that PLA particles were more toxic than ABS particles. But the printer released so much more ABS into the air, which is more of a concern.

Is PLA+ worth it?

If you are printing models that do not need to be functional and just look nice, then normal PLA will work. But if you are printing parts that need to resist loads, PLA plus is worth trying.

Does PLA melt in the sun?

Although PLA can soften in direct sunlight, it will eventually harden if exposed for only a short period of time.

Does alcohol dissolve PLA?

There is a type of PLA that can be dissolved in isopropyl alcohol. This material is often used when people want to smooth their parts and they do not want to use acetone or methylene chloride.

How do you dispose of PLA?

The easiest way to recycle 3D-printed objects made of ABS, PLA, or Nylon is to contact your local Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and ask if they will take them.

Is PLA compostable at home?

Most PLA plastic is marketed as being compostable. But most PLA needs to go to an industrial facility for it to break down.

The TUV OK HOME Compost PLA (formerly vincotte) should be a good option for composting in your home.

Is PLA pet safe?

PLA and TPU are safe for dogs. They have been used as toys for many years. I would not use PLA to make a bowl you eat from because, during the printing process, tiny holes are created where bacteria from food can grow.

Can you wash PLA?

If you wash a 3D-printed item in hot water or with the dishwasher, it may get deformed. PLA is more sensitive to heat and is not safe for the dishwasher.

What is the melting point of PLA?

The melting point of PLA  materials happens between 130 °C and 180 °C. These variances depend on the L-lactide content, as well as the type of crystals that formed during crystallization.

Does PLA need a dry box?

Although storing PLA filament in a dry box is not the only way to protect this material, it is an important step. Most people store PLA on-site because they don’t have the luxury of temperature and humidity-controlled storage at their homes or offices. Ideally, this type of exposure should be avoided for any longterm storage needs but PLA filaments are a good choice for short-term storage.

How to store PLA?

PLA should be stored well away from any other type of plastic and its best kept in an open container with some form of desiccant, or pack it into a tight vacuum-sealed bag. Avoiding contact between the material will help prolong the life span of the filament.

Can you paint PLA?

In PLA prints, you can use either enamel or acrylic paint. The main difference between these two types of paint is that the enamel paint is solvent-based and may produce a glossy finish, while the acrylic paint is water-based and can be used to create a variety of finishes.

Why is PLA so expensive?

3D printer filament is expensive because the cost of raw material and equipment is not the only thing that goes into it. It requires good process control, good equipment, and fairly smart people to monitor and operate the equipment.