POLYLACTIC ACID (PLA)

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About PLA Material

Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) is a great 3D printing material for early stage prototyping on simple geometry parts, made out of biodegradable corn starch. Because this material is relatively cheap, you can cost effectively 3D print multiple iterations of an early stage part design.PLA could be CNC machined but it is typically not available in sheet stock or rod form.

Materials

Quick Overview

ProcessesLead TimeColorTolerancePriceApplications
3D Printing2-4 Days based on sizeWhite & available in all major colors.FDM - 150 µm
SLA - 40 µm
Lowest in marketStrength & complex geometries
Injection Molding20-30 DaysWhite & available in all major colors.As low as +/- 0.030 mmQty & Precision dependentHigh strength, Good surface finish.
Materials

Design Recommendations

Services NameMax SizeMin SizeMin ThicknessUndercutsRadii Depth
For 3D PrintingMax Part Size: 500x500x500 mmMin Hole size : 1 mmMin Wall Thickness: 1 mmMin Feature Size : 3 mmRecommended fillet & Chamfer angles : > 45 Deg
For MoldingMax Part Size: 500x500x500 mmMin Hole size : 0.5 mmMin Wall Thickness: 0.5 mmRibs should be 40-60% the thickness of outer walls and should still maintain draftMinimum draft angle of 0.5°, or up to 5°, for faces with medium textures
FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

No, ABS is more durable than PLA.

PLA can be machinable but PLA is generally  not available in blocks form.

  • Higher strength and stiffness than both ABS and nylon
  • Easiest materials to 3D print successfully
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Clients

Think3D has been a great partner for us in supplying COVID-19 test cartridges on-time despite the pandemic challenges. When we came up with a new requirement needing a workforce of more than 25 people, think3D took up the challenge and arranged the workforce within 2 days. I highly recommend think3D for any manufacturing needs.
 

Sanket Srivatsav
Production In-Charge, Molbio

As a professor doing research on new materials, I needed a strong industry partner to assist us. think3D perfectly fit that bill. think3D team is highly knowledgeable on all manufacturing technologies and the team is very prompt in responding to all our requests. My research has been very successful, thanks to think3D team.


Dr. Karthik Chetan V
Asst. Professor, BITS Pilani

We found issue with one part at the time of assembly and needed a quick replacement. think3D team has quickly responded to our request, redesigned the part and printed it using metal 3D Printing and delivered in 3 days time. The part came out really well and the design was better than that of the actual one.


Rama Krishna
Senior Manager (IMM), BDL

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