Heat-Resistant PLA Could Expand 3D Printing Capabilities

By on February 14th, 2014 in materials


PLA plastic, a commonly used 3D printing material, could be on the verge of becoming more versatile thanks to research conducted by Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

Derived from renewable resources like cornstarch and sugarcane, PLA plastic is easy to produce in quantity and has become one of the cornerstone plastics used in both consumer grade 3D printers and the packaging industry.

While the bio-plastic has found a number of uses, its main flaw is its inability to resist temperature. In fact, PLA plastics will begin to lose their shape when exposed to temperatures in excess of 50 °C (122 °F) and begin to show structural weakness even before reaching that point. This property of PLA has posed a huge problem for consumer grade 3D printer users as their materials aren’t likely to contain temperature stabilizing agents often added to industrial grade PLA plastics.

Read more at ENGINEERING.com