Tech Breakdown: PRO Series Tough PLA Leave a comment

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This is Matterhackers PRO Series Tough PLA. A powerful alternative to ABS, Tough PLA is engineered for strength and durability with the reliability and ease-of-use for which PLA is known making it a powerful alternative to ABS . Plus it still comes in a variety of great colors.

Remarkably Tough

PRO Series Tough PLA has been formulated specifically to make 3D printing complex parts easier and ready for functional parts. Made using Natureworks Ingeo PLA 3D870, this material has basically the same settings for 3D printing as regular PLA, but the finished parts have heat resistance approaching that of ABS if you anneal them. Annealing is an additional post processing step where you bake your part in an oven at a specific temperature for a specific time, changing the molecular structure of the part into something much stronger, and in fact has more impact strength than regular PLA or ABS.

Annealing should be done once the oven has had time or preheat and stabilize at the necessary temperature.

Reliable Printing for Designers and Engineers

PRO Series Tough PLA isn’t prone to warping and delamination due to temperature sensitivity while printing, which opens the possibility for complex and large models. And just like regular PLA, Tough PLA pairs well with the dissolvable support material PVA, so you can print models with hard to reach details fully supporting every overhang.

PVA on a dual extrusion 3D printer is the ideal support surface, but same-material supports is viable as well.

PVA on a dual extrusion 3D printer is the ideal support surface, but same-material supports is viable as well.

Ultimate Capabilities Unleashed

Prototypes, jigs, and fixtures are where PRO Series Tough PLA’s advanced properties shine through. Where ABS will shrink as it cools no matter what, Tough PLA doesn’t shrink coming off the printer, but if your part needs the ultimate strength, the annealing process will surpass that of ABS with some minor shrinking. And don’t hesitate to use Tough PLA for projects that require tapped threads for bolts or need to be sanded and finished for presentation-ready parts.

Tapping or sanding tough PLA is really easy, which means finishing your 3D printed parts is easy too.

Tapping or sanding tough PLA is really easy, which means finishing your 3D printed parts is easy too.

When you need robust parts for prototyping and machining, Tough PLA should be your go-to material. Stay tuned for more colors being added to our catalog.

Happy printing!



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