Polylactic acid (PLA) is one of the most widely printed materials in consumer grade 3D printers due to its ease of printability and low cost. It is a bioplastic and thermoplastic made from renewable natural resources such as corn startch. PLA is embraced due to this eco-friendliness and biodegradability.

PLA is manufactured in almost every color avalible with specialty blends creating marbling effects using fragments of a higher temperature thermoplastic. At Terrapin Works we offer PLA in the following colors:

  • Green
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Brown
  • Black
  • White
  • Warm Grey
  • Cool Grey
  • Neon Green
  • Neon Orange
  • Neon Pink
  • Translucent Blue
  • Translucent Green
  • Translucent Orange
  • Translucent Purple
  • Translucent Yellow
  • Army Green
  • Ocean Blue
  • Khaki
  • Natural
  • Glow-in-the-dark
  • Marble
  • Bronze

While PLA is a good general-purpose material, it is brittle and has a low heat resistance. The heat deflection temperature of PLA is 56° C (132.8° F) which can be reached on the dashboard of a car sitting in the summer sun. The flexural modulus is 3600 MPa (522 ksi) and the flexural strength is 97 MPa (14 ksi). 

Machines which print using PLA: