Even though PLA 3D printing isn’t as durable or precise as SLA printing, it does still have its uses. PLA, or polylactic acid, is a naturally occurring substance that is completely biodegradable, nontoxic, and safe to use and dispose of. PLA 3D printing is actually better for the environment, so it’s a good idea to use it when you can.
PLA uses renewable resources in printing
PLA is the cheapest of all the 3D printing options, mostly because the material is so inexpensive. It is a good place to start on your manufacturing journey because you can make mistakes, and it won’t cost a fortune to start over. You can also get the filaments in different colors so that you can color code your attempts. All of the filaments are biodegradable and eco-friendly.
Why don’t more people use PLA 3D printing?
PLA is the more environmentally friendly option, but it is hardly practical for most manufacturing purposes. In the very beginning stages of a project, PLA can be helpful in working out engineering details as engineers go through model after model. But when it comes down to showing off your final project, you’re going to want a true completed product or an SLA 3D printing mockup that will actually function and hold up.
How should you dispose of PLA mockups?
If you use PLA 3D printing for mockups or models of a final product, you’re going to be going through quite a few of them. How do you safely dispose of them? There are Materials Recovery Facilities throughout the nation that allow you to recycle these materials, or they can be disposed of for biodegrading.
Why don’t more people use PLA prototypes?
PLA models and prototypes are actually pretty fragile. They don’t hold up well over time, and they don’t usually have working parts. The 3D printing isn’t as precise as other methods, so it can’t be a functional prototype. However, PLA does have its uses in some projects.
If you aren’t sure where you should be starting at in your manufacturing journey, contact us today so we can become your partner and help you realize your dreams.