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PLA filament variants and their 3D print application

3D Printing

PLA filament is the most famous and widely chosen Filament for FDM 3D printers for various reasons. It is biodegradable, affordable, and doesn't require any heated bed, making it ideal for versatile users for various applications. The cherry on top is this 3D printer filament pla comes in variants, and you can use these exotic types in your 3D printed parts to further glorify them.

This article will help you explore the top 3D PLA filament variants and their suitable applications for your wonderful printing projects ahead. 

1. PLA Pro filament

PLA Pro filament, also known as PLA+ or PLA Plus filament, has the same properties as the ordinary pla but with improved features such as enhanced surface quality and more vibrant color. In fact, research suggests that it has 700 times more impact resistance than the regular one. Also, 3D printer PLA Pro filaments are far stronger and less brittle. With a stronger layer adhesion, PLA Pro filaments printouts last longer. This is the most commonly used PLA variant.

Application of PLA Pro:

You can use this PLA filament for making functional prototypes and larger-size tools with no fear of shrinkage or warping. This is a really good option to use against ABS 3D filament with the advantage of toughness and ease of printing.

PLA Pro filament variant

▲PLA pro filament pintouts

2. Silk PLA filament

The silk PLA filament is one excellent choice for a fine look. As the name suggests, this 3D print material can print beautiful, luxurious, and smooth models that need little or no post-processing. Basically, this material is obviously made out of polylactic acid, but what adds to its glory is not silk but rather polyester, which makes up almost 20 percent of the material. Flashforge silk PLA Filament 1.75mm spool is ideal for a smooth glossy finish. You need the right printer settings to create your ideal 3D-printed part that stands out.

Application of Silk PLA:

Silk PLA is an ideal choice for decorative and cosplay objects. You can use them to 3D print customized gifts, vases, or toys.

PLA filament Silk type

▲Silk PLA filament 3D printing

3. Transparent PLA filament

If you want to create a light-permeable object, then transparent PLA filament is perfect! This clear Filament is not 100 percent transparent but is translucent and aids in giving a glass-like look. The manufacturing companies use many industrial processes, such as condensation and polymerization, to add to the clear loom without yellow hues. 

PLA filament variant transparent

▲Clear PLA filament

It’s noticeable that transparent PLA filament is different from white PLA filament, albeit taking photos for objects of transparent filament 3D printed it may show a false appearance of white printouts. The transparent effects of transparent PLA printouts are like transparent plastic bags.

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Applications of transparent PLA filament:

Again, You can use this Filament to create decorative objects or prototypes which need to be clear and see-through. Also, you can create vases, spare parts, or small objects with one to two layers and intricate details.

PLA filament variant 3D print

▲Halloween ghost/bottle of clear PLA filament

4. Luminous PLA filament

Have you ever wanted your 3D-printed object to glow in the dark? Guess what? Your dream has come true! Now the 3D Printer Luminous filament has entered the 3D printing world and glows in the dark. It contains phosphorescent materials that absorb UV rays to re-emit visible light. You need the right print settings, such as thick walls for a stronger glow with little infill, and, accordingly, nozzle settings to produce the best results.

Applications of Luminous PLA:

You can use this spooky glow filament to print decorative pieces, Halloween items, night-glow stars, or simply toys for children to wonder about. 3 Popular Things Made by Glow in the Dark Filament.

PLA filament variant luminous

▲3D printed luminous sword and boat

5. Multicolor PLA filament

Printing in just one color isn't that interesting, and you might want to create something beautiful that shows various colors effect. Generally there are 3 types of multicolor PLA filament: Rainbow PLA, color-changing PLA and dual-color PLA. What are the color differences among those three kinds?

PLA filament variant

Rainbow PLA filament is the kind of 3D printer filament with rainbow colors alternating along the filament thread. The objects printed with this kind of filament are very beautiful, with rainbow colors gradient. Since the colors are modulated randomly during original processing, the final rainbow filament products take on 3 - 4 colors of the rainbow colors randomly. It’s common that one purchaser gets a rainbow filament that doesn’t match the colors shown in the product photos online.

PLA filament silk rainbow variant

▲Printed with silk rainbow PLA

Dual-color PLA filament is also called bicolor PLA filament, which has two colors spreading along the filament thread. Not like the rainbow PLA filament which has different colors alternating on the filament thread, the dual-color PLA filament has different colors all along the filament thread. The printout effect of dual-color PLA shows colors mingled and  intertwined on a printed objects.

PLA filament type bicolor

▲Bicolor PLA filament

Color-changing PLA filament is the one that changes color at different angles. It’s also called chameleon filament. so by looking in different positions, you will experience multiple color shades, just like a chameleon in the wild. The physical properties of color-changing PLA is almost the same as standard PLA, just a nuance in color toning. A color toner is added in when processing this PLA filament, hence the color-changing effects of this PLA filament.

PLA filament variant color-changing type

▲Color-changing PLA 3D printout

6. Carbon Fiber PLA

olkilopMade from composite material, the PLA-CF filament is quite rigid and possesses better structural and tensile strength. It is almost 1.5 times stronger than the regular pla! This Increased rigidity also decreases the flexibility of the 3D print material, which helps to make solid objects that don't require any bending. In addition, these Filaments are also lightweight with high visual quality.

Applications of CF fiber:

It is ideal for making frames, shells, supports, or anything with no bending. You can also use it for 3D printing tools and propellers. The RC hobbyist and drone builders keep it as their favorite choice.

PLA filament variant PLA-CF

▲Printed using CF-PLA filament

7. Galaxy PLA

The Galaxy 3D printer PLA filament basically comprises a high amount of silver aluminum flakes which adds to the beautiful, aesthetic, shiny, and reflective look of the PLA printed parts. With these glittery flakes, you can create shimmery objects without visible layer lines and subtle shades. In addition, Although the PLA is dense with flakes, it is still not abrasive for your FDM printer nozzle, which helps in easy printing with deep colors.

Applications of Galaxy PLA:

You can use the Galaxy PLA filament for anything to make it fun or aesthetic, be it small jewelry items, toys, gifts, or any adornment, such as a frame or vase with a rich shiny effect. Latest PLA Galaxy filament has the printed color similar to the DIOR Galaxy dress!

PLA filament variant galaxy

▲ Galaxy PLA 3D print effects

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