PLA (polylactic acid) is one of the most widely used 3D printing materials and also the recommended material for beginners. It prints fast, is safe, and can be used for a broad range of models and applications. The following is everything you need to know about printing with Ultimaker PLA.
Note: The information provided here applies to Ultimaker PLA, similar quality cannot be guaranteed with third-party filaments.
In this article:
- Recommended settings and configurations
- Health and Safety
Ultimaker PLA can be printed on all Ultimaker 3D printers with all nozzle sizes as a single material. On the Ultimaker S5, S3 and Ultimaker 3, you should use the AA print cores.
|Printer||Compatible print cores / nozzles|
|Ultimaker S5 (Pro Bundle)||AA 0.25, AA 0.4, AA 0.8|
|Ultimaker S3||AA 0.25, AA 0.4, AA 0.8|
|Ultimaker 3 (Extended)||AA 0.25, AA 0.4, AA 0.8|
|Ultimaker 2+ (Extended)||0.25, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8|
|Ultimaker 2+ Connect||0.25, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8|
|Ultimaker 2 Go||0.4|
|Ultimaker 2 Extended||0.4|
Ultimaker PLA has optimised settings for the Ultimaker Pro Bundle, Air Manager and Material Station. This ensures a good end of filament and end of print experience in the Material Station and an optimal build environment with the Air Manager. Please make sure to use the latest version of Ultimaker Cura and ensure the firmware has the latest update.
On the Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker S3 and Ultimaker 3, PLA can also be printed in combination with PVA, Breakaway or another color of PLA. This overview shows the materials PLA is compatible with.
The experimental and not supported combinations have not been verified, since limited use cases are available. Results are dependent on the model type that is used.
Recommended settings and configuration
Note: Always use the latest version of Ultimaker Cura and make sure that your 3D printer is updated with the latest firmware version to include the correct material profile for Ultimaker PLA.
Ultimaker PLA prints at moderate temperatures, mostly around 200-210 °C, depending on the selected nozzle size and print profile. Profiles for the 0.25 mm nozzles use a slightly lower temperature though, and the 0.8 mm profiles require a higher temperature.
For the build plate, a temperature of 60 °C is used for heated build plates, but it is also possible to print PLA on a cold build plate using the blue tape.
Note: The correct temperatures are automatically used based on the printer, nozzle size, and profile you select in Ultimaker Cura.
PLA usually adheres well to the heated glass plate, but it is recommended to apply a thin layer of glue to improve build plate adhesion(included in the accessory box of your 3D printer).
If you’re using a printer without a heated build plate such as the Ultimaker 2 Go, we recommend using blue tape for adhesion, since even with glue objects will warp on a cold build plate.
Caution: The addition of glue is recommended to improve adhesion and thereby prevent the chance of print failure and printer damage. Additionally, the use of glue can prevent overadhesion that can lead to damage to the build plate.
The PLA profiles in Ultimaker Cura use a brim as build plate adhesion type, to provide optimal adhesion on the first layer. A brim is made of extra lines printed around the perimeter of the initial layer of your 3D print to ensure a successful adhesion to the build plate.
Once the 3D print has finished, do not remove it while the build plate is still warm. This can result in deformation of the base of your print.
PLA is an easy-to-print material and therefore does not require additional accessories to create a stable printing environment. However, you can use the front enclosure from the Advanced 3D Printing Kit (for the Ultimaker 2+ or Ultimaker 3) to obtain more consistent and reliable 3D prints.
Health and safety
Ultimaker PLA emits a low level of gases and particles when 3D printed in accordance with the recommended temperatures in Ultimaker Cura. To ensure a comfortable and healthy working environment, we recommend 3D printing in a well-ventilated area.
For more information, download the safety data sheet for Ultimaker PLA here.