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Polylactic Acid (PLA)

Definition - What does Polylactic Acid (PLA) mean?

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a type of plastic that is used in building models and prototypes of solid objects and components. It is a thermoplastic polyester that serves as the raw material in 3-D printing or additive manufacturing processes and applications.

Polylactic acid is also known as polylactide acid.

Techopedia explains Polylactic Acid (PLA)

Polylactic acid is primarily created using renewable or green sources such as sugar cane, starch and corn. As a result, it can easily be recycled. It is used in most additive manufacturing processes that design 3-D models and prototypes through plastic-based materials. In fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology, the molten polymer filament, which is extruded from the controller nozzle, is polylactic acid.

PLA is a popular and commonly used plastic raw material in 3-D printing, after acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), which comes in both hard and soft forms. Both are suitable for a variety of applications.

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