PLA filament remains the number one material choice for 3D printer users, thanks to its availability, ease of printing and sustainability. With PLA being the filament of choice for 3D printing UK users, it has become the base material for many different types of filament – from recycled PLA all the way through to industry-focussed grades such as Tough PLA. 

Back in 2020 we wrote the popular PLA 3D Printer Filament Guide. In the time that has passed, more PLA filaments have been developed and therefore this article therefore seeks to introduce all the different types of PLA filament currently available to 3D printing users as well as provide example use cases for each one to help inform your decision-making.

Made in the UK PLA – Economy PLA Filament

Economy PLA, a UK-manufactured 3D printing filament, is made with up to 99.99% recycled content. This filament is sourced from post-industrial waste material, which is collected during the manufacturing phase and would otherwise be sent to landfill if not utilised. Being derived from a single-source ensures it’s free from foreign debris, minimising contamination risks. By leveraging these high-quality, recycled materials, Economy PLA delivers performance on par with brand-new, ‘virgin’ materials. 

3D printing Temperature: 180-210 °C

User Level: Beginner

Example Use Case: When you’re looking for an easy to use, made in the UK, PLA filament for your 3D printing projects.

Shop Economy PLA Filament

Recycled PLA Filament UK

With 99% of the market being non-recycled filament in a rapidly growing industry, material sustainability can no longer be ignored due to wide adoption of 3D printing.

To reduce the usage of virgin polymer, Filamentive has collaborated with industry partners to recycle post-industrial waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill into a sustainable PLA filament, without compromising quality. Our PLA Filament features up to 87% recycled material.

3D printing temperature: 205±10°C

User Level: Beginner

Example Use Case: When you’re looking for a premium PLA filament in a range of colours and reel sizes, suited to both general prototyping and also non-industrial, end-use applications.

Tough PLA Filament for 3D Printing

The specially-formulated Tough PLA filament marries the impact resistance qualities of ABS with the ease of printing and eco-friendliness of PLA. In the Charpy Impact test under ISO 179, PLA Tough outperforms many other robust PLA or PLA+ variants available in the market. To put it in perspective, PLA Tough boasts an impressive 29.8 kJ/m², which translates to an astounding 750% increase in impact resistance when compared to conventional PLA’s 3.4 kJ/m².

3D Printing Temperature: 210±10°C

User Level: Beginner

Example Use Case: Manufacturing aids or end-use parts where impact resistance beyond regular PLA is required

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Matte PLA Filament for 3D Printing

Derived from our renowned PLA, the specially formulated PLA Matte offers a textured finish that minimises the appearance of layers. Easy to print and available in a diverse colour palette, it maintains our commitment to sustainability with 70% of its composition coming from recycled materials and is provided on a fully recyclable cardboard spool. 

Due to its slightly abrasive nature compared to standard PLA, we advise using a hardened or steel nozzle for optimal results.

3D Printing Temperature: 215±10°C

User Level: Intermediate

Example Use Case: Decorative, 3D-printed products

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Wood PLA Filament for 3D Printing

Wood PLA is PLA-based filament, crafted with a blend of 40% recycled wood fibres and 60% recycled PLA. This combination offers not only a genuine wood-like colour and finish but also a characteristic wooden aroma. 

While it’s easy to print with minimal warping, we suggest using a nozzle size of at least 0.5 mm for optimal results. Additionally, post-processing tasks such as sanding, varnishing, and coating can be applied to Wood PLA prints to enhance their appearance.

3D Printing Temperature: 200±10°C

User Level: Intermediate

Example Use Case: 3D printing wood-like products.

Shop Wood PLA Filament

Which is the Best PLA 3D Printer Filament for 3D printing?

Choosing the ideal PLA filament depends largely on the specific requirements and desired outcomes of your project. 

For those seeking an eco-friendly solution with high recycled content, the UK-manufactured Economy PLA stands out. For projects demanding high impact resistance, the Tough PLA proves its mettle by significantly outperforming standard PLAs. The Matte PLA is the go-to choice for a refined aesthetic finish, while the Wood PLA offers authentic, wood-like features

Ultimately, the “best” filament varies based on individual project needs, but with Filamentive’s wide range of PLA filament products, there’s a match for every 3D printing enthusiast!

Beyond our PLA offering, Filamentive hosts an array of filaments for 3D printing, encompassing ABS, ASA, PETg, and more. For an in-depth comparison and to find your perfect match, do peruse our comprehensive Materials Guide.

We hope this deep dive into PLA and its variants enriches your 3D printing journey, helping you decide which PLA filament to choose. For queries or further insights, drop us an email anytime!