Proto-Pasta PLA Composite Filaments
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a thermoplastic made from organic sugars. PLA is the most commonly used 3D printing media and best for a classroom environment. These PLA composites have additives materials mixed into PLA to give it special qualities. They are also easy to post process to give your prints a polished or rusted look. Contact us on chat for more information!
Click here for our FREE Cura settings and instructions on printing with PLA composite filaments on the NWA3D A5 or A31.
**We recommend upgrading your 0.4 mm brass nozzle to a 0.6 mm plated steel nozzle before printing with composite filaments, due to the nature of abrasive or large particle additives that have the tendency to clog and wear down regular 0.4 mm brass nozzles.**
PLA and HTPLA as printed, though both great performers in an indoor environment, have poor temperature stability, loosing significant stiffness at temperatures not much above 50C. Different than standard PLA, HTPLA is designed to survive heat treating for higher temperature stability in a no/minimal load condition to near melting. That's an astonishing 3x+ improvement in thermal stability compared to standard PLA after a quick bake in the oven after printing.
In as little as 5-10 minutes for small, thin parts and as much a few hours for massive parts, HTPLA v3 parts crystallize in an oven at 110C +/- 10C (200-250F) to become more stiff. Depending on part geometry, setup, and technique, parts can deform and shrink.
Best results are with flat and/or supported parts with 100% infill.
In this instance we experienced x/y shrinkage of only 0.5% and negligible z change. Be sure to avoid hot spots (non-radiating surfaces and no glowing coils) in the oven used for baking and experiment before baking a prized part. Heat treating is an art, but the resulting improved thermal performance, if needed, is well-worth experimenting to learn more. You'll be blown away by just how improved the thermal stability of your HTPLA v3 parts will be!
The benefits of composites include:
- Easy to post process
- Low melt temperature makes easy to print
- Heated bed not required
- Magnetic Iron PLA
- Electrically conductive Graphite PLA
- High impact resistance for Carbon Fiber PLA
- Heat Treating and annealing creates higher temperature resistance for HTPLAs
Recommended Print Settings
- Printing Temperature: 210-230°C (sometimes cooler for lighter pigments)
- Bed Temperature: 0-50°C
Made in the USA in Vancouver, Washington.