|Material||Color||Brand||Diameter||Speciality||Weight||Price*||Price per Weight*|
|PLA||Black||Extrudr||2.85 mm||1100 g||15.52 EUR||14.11 EUR/kg|
|PLA||White||colorFabb||1.75 mm||2200 g||39.05 GBP||17.75 GBP/kg|
|PLA||White||colorFabb||2.85 mm||2200 g||39.05 GBP||17.75 GBP/kg|
|PLA||Black||colorFabb||1.75 mm||2200 g||39.05 GBP||17.75 GBP/kg|
|PLA||Silver||colorFabb||2.85 mm||2200 g||39.05 GBP||17.75 GBP/kg|
|PLA||Dark Blue||colorFabb||1.75 mm||2200 g||39.05 GBP||17.75 GBP/kg|
|PLA||Deep Black||Spectrum||1.75 mm||2000 g||35.85 GBP||17.92 GBP/kg|
|PLA||Lime Green||Spectrum||1.75 mm||2000 g||35.85 GBP||17.92 GBP/kg|
|PLA||Silver Star||Spectrum||1.75 mm||2000 g||35.85 GBP||17.92 GBP/kg|
|PLA||Bloody Red||Spectrum||1.75 mm||2000 g||35.85 GBP||17.92 GBP/kg|
|PLA||Green||Innofil3D||2.85 mm||750 g||15.19 EUR||20.25 EUR/kg|
|PLA||Orange||Extrudr||1.75 mm||1100 g||22.33 EUR||20.30 EUR/kg|
|PLA||White & Black||3DJAKE||2.85 mm||2000 g||36.74 GBP||18.37 GBP/kg|
|PLA||White & Black||3DJAKE||1.75 mm||2000 g||36.74 GBP||18.37 GBP/kg|
|PLA||Black||Polymaker||2.85 mm||1000 g||21.81 EUR||21.81 EUR/kg|
PLA is the most frequently used 3D printing material for FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) respectively FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication). It is known to be beginner friendly and generally easy to handle.
It is also very affordable with prices currently starting at just 14.11 EUR/kg (see the table above).
The abbreviation stands for polylactic acid whose production starts with corn starch or similar plant-based resources being turned into sugar and then being fermented to generate lactid acid which is afterwards polymerized to form PLA.
The material was developed in 1932 by Wallace Carothers working for DuPont.
Because it is made from renewable resources and bio-degradable this plastic is generally considered to be environmentally friendly. A rough estimation is that it will take 6 months to compost in a professional composting facility.
Depending on the manufacturer additives are added to change desired properties like the colour of the filament. Therefore the processing temperature varies between 170 °C and 255 °C, so it is best to have a look at the Technical Data Sheets (TDS) and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) before you start up your 3D printer.
Some manufacturers also provide Food Contact Declarations because their filaments are certified to be food-safe. But when printed with a normal 3D printer the results nevertheless won't be food-safe because the extrusion process is not.
Prints also have a porous surface which makes them more difficult to keep clean. They are sandable, paintable and bondable. It is also possible to anneal PLA to make it stronger.