Tough PLA is a type of filament that is becoming increasingly popular. In brief; this filament combines the mechanical properties of ABS with the printing convenience of ordinary PLA.
Comparison of mechanical properties of:
Innofil3D Pro1 Tough PLA, ABS, PLA and InnoPET.
The difference between ABS and PLA filament.
PLA is a fantastic material for 3D printers. It has a low melting temperature and high tensile strength. It gives you the ability to print solid parts with little chance of warping. Also, PLA does not smell during printing, so it can be printed in an office or classroom.
ABS is a more technical material with superior impact resistance. This material will also bend before it will break. ABS has a higher melting temperature, making it more difficult to print. If the material cools down too quickly during printing, it will warp. The risk of warping can be reduced by using a heated print bed and a closed build chamber. For the best results, we actually want to print ABS in a heated build chamber.
Tough PLA, almost ABS but easier.
Many, mainly, professional users want to 3D print with ABS. Mainly because of the good mechanical properties. These properties make it an ideal material for prototypes and wear-resistant end-use parts. But these users prefer not to use ABS because of the difficult printability. That is why various manufacturers have started developing a Tough PLA filament. Tough PLA is an engineering material with which powerful and wear-resistant parts can be printed, just like with ABS. But optimized for 3D printing.
Who is Tough PLA filament suitable for?
Tough PLA is a real engineering material. It is extremely suitable for 3D printing of durable end-use parts such as molds and fixtures. But also for wear-resistant prototypes that can be tested extensively.
When is Tough PLA suitable?
PLA and Tough PLA filament both have their advantages. PLA is ideal for rigid parts that have to endure high stresses where partial failure is not catastrophic. PLA can also be easily post-processed.
Tough PLA filament is more suitable for parts that need to be more wear resistant and impact resistant. Tough PLA will bend before breaking, just like ABS. In addition, it also has a natural smooth finish. All this makes it a functional engineering material.
The material properties of Tough PLA.
The mechanical properties of Tough PLA are almost identical to those of ABS. After all, this was also the development goal of Tough PLA. The thermal and odor properties of Tough PLA, on the other hand, are comparable to those of PLA. As a result, the chance of warping is very small and the material is therefore easy to 3D print.
Popular brands Tough PLA filament.
Innofil3D PRO1 Tough PLA:
In recent months this has become one of our favorite filaments. A versatile material that can be used widely. We have successfully printed several print jobs with Innofil3D PRO1 . On both the Raise3D and the Ultimaker. We also receive very positive feedback from various customers.
You can achieve various results with this filament by fine-tuning the print settings. Depending on your preference of course. Are you going for a strong part, do you want to print it quickly or do you emphasize appearance? It's all possible with PRO1.
In addition to these good properties of this filament, the price is also interesting. PRO1 is slightly more expensive than the regular PLA filament from Innofil3D. It is by far the most affordable Tough PLA filament in our range.
Ultimaker Tough PLA
Like all types of Ultimaker filament, Ultimaker Tough PLA is only available in 2.85mm. As a result, the number of 3D printers that can handle it is of course limited. But for anyone with an Ultimaker, this is a very interesting filament.
The impact resistance is comparable to ABS and greater than normal PLA. It also has a higher stiffness than ABS. It is less brittle and gives a more matte surface finish than normal Ultimaker PLA. Ultimaker Tough PLA is also easy to post-process. As we are used to from PLA.
The big advantage lies in printing large parts. Large parts are a challenge even with Ultimaker ABS due to the risk of warping. With Ultimaker Tough PLA filament you don't have to worry about that.
This filament can also be printed in combination with Ultimaker PVA or Breakaway if you have a dual extruder. Such as the Ultimaker 3, Ultimaker 3 Extended or Ultimaker s5.