PLA stands for polylactic acid, better known as biodegradable plastic or bioplastic. Among all types of filament, PLA is the most used and best known filament. This is because polylactic acid is the standard filament for almost all extrusion-based (FDM) 3D printers. It is a strong and easy to print filament. The big advantage of PLA is that it does not require high temperatures to be printed well, this makes printing easy and because it can be printed even without a heated printbed. A 3D print with PLA can hardly go wrong.
PLA is manufactured from 100% renewable sources and is therefore environmentally friendly. It is made by fermenting starch from, for example, corn, sugar cane or soya beans. This has the advantage that hardly unpleasant vapours are released during printing and it even gives off a sweet aroma.
PLA is a strong and hard material that can not simply be deformed: it can withstand great forces. However, in case of a hard blow or a fall, it is like glass and will break. PLA is therefore especially suitable for vision models and not for industrial use. If only the shape of your object is important, we always recommend using PLA.
Tip: when starting with 3D printing, it is wise to start with PLA filament.