Is PLA Filament Food Safe?If you are a 3D printing enthusiast, you may have heard of PLA (polylactic acid) filament. Its versatility, ease of use and environmental friendliness make it a popular choice among amateurs and professionals alike. But a question that often arises is whether PLA filament is safe for food-related applications.
What is PLA Filament?Before moving on to the topic of food safety, let's take a look at what PLA filament is and how it's made. PLA is a type of bioplastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, sugar cane or potato starch. It is biodegradable and produces fewer emissions during production compared to conventional petroleum-based plastics.
To make PLA filament, the raw materials are mixed together and then extruded through a small nozzle to form thin plastic strips. These wires are cooled and then wound onto reels used in 3D printers to create 3D objects.
Is PLA Filament Food Safe?
So, back to the question at hand: Is PLA filament food safe? The short answer is yes, PLA filament is generally considered food safe. However, it is important to note that there are different classes of PLA filaments and some may not be suitable for food-related applications.
One factor to consider is the additives used in the filament. Some PLA filaments may contain additives such as dyes or pigments that are not food-safe. It's important to check the manufacturer's specifications and look specifically for filaments that are labeled as food-safe.
Another factor to consider is the 3D printing process itself. It is important to ensure that the printer and its components are clean and free of contaminants before using them to print food-related items. It's also a good idea to use a separate printer for food-related products, especially if you're using it to print non-food items.
In general, you can feel safe using PLA printed products for food-related purposes as long as you use a food-safe PLA filament and take appropriate precautions during the printing process.
Food Safe PLA Filament Samples
Here are a few examples of commercially available food-safe PLA filaments:
- ColorFabb XT-CF20
- UZY Premium PLA
- Domestic Premium PLA
- MakerBot PLA
It's always a good idea to do your own research and read reviews before purchasing any filament, food grade or anything else. Be sure to check the manufacturer's specifications and look specifically for filaments that are labeled as food-safe.