FDM 3D Printed Anatomical Models

PLA Material Details

General Information

PLA, or Polylactic Acid, is one of the most commonly used materials in FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printing.
It was specifically developed for this technology, ensuring clean and warp-free printing.
PLA finds widespread use, primarily for rapidly and cost-effectively creating prototypes. Its low shrinkage makes PLA particularly suitable for large-scale parts.

PLA is derived from cornstarch or grains and is biodegradable under industrial composting conditions.
Despite its compostability, PLA is very durable and can be used for long-lasting applications. Additionally, it is resistant to most chemicals.
Temperature Sensitivity
PLA is known for its hardness but is also brittle. It's sensitive to high temperatures, as it tends to lose its strength.
When exposed to direct sunlight, especially in a vehicle, PLA can soften and start to deform. Ideal for Segmented Bone and Skull Models Due to its matte surface finish, PLA is particularly well-suited for creating segmented bone and skull models, offering excellent detail and realism.
It can accurately reproduce anatomical features, making it valuable in medical and educational applications.

Mechanical Use
While PLA is not as mechanically robust as some other materials, it can still be used for mechanical applications with moderate loads. It is essential to consider its temperature sensitivity and brittleness when selecting PLA for mechanical parts. For applications where high mechanical stresses are not a concern, PLA can provide a cost-effective and accessible solution."

Printing in PLA

Minimum Wall: 1 mm

Smalest Detail : 0.3

Layer hight : 0.2 mm

Max Print size: 256 x 256 x 256 mm

Tollerance: ± 0,2 mm

Delivery Times: typicaly 2-3 Businessdays


Pro`s and Con`s


  • Hard and Stiff: PLA is known for its hardness and rigidity, making it suitable for various applications.
  • Biodegradable: PLA is derived from renewable sources and is biodegradable under industrial composting conditions.
  • Minimal Warping: PLA exhibits minimal warping during the 3D printing process, resulting in accurate prints.
  • Strong Chemical Resistance: It is highly resistant to most chemicals, ensuring durability.
  • Cost-Effective: PLA is an affordable 3D printing material, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
  • UV Resistant: PLA has good UV resistance, making it suitable for outdoor applications
  • High Tensile Strength: It offers high tensile strength, making it suitable for load- bearing applications.
  • Fire-Resistant: PLA is relatively difficult to ignite, contributing to its safety features.
  • Biocompatible: PLA is biocompatible, making it suitable for medical and certain industrial applications.


  • Low Resolution Due to FDM Process: PLA may have lower resolution compared to some other 3D printing materials when using the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process.
  • Temperature Sensitivity (Softens at 60°C): PLA becomes soft and loses its strength when exposed to temperatures around 60°C, which can limit its use in high- temperature applications.
  • Brittle: It can be brittle, which may affect its performance in certain applications.
  • Not Weatherproof: PLA is not highly weather-resistant and may degrade when exposed to outdoor environmental conditions.
  • Not Suitable for Food Contact: PLA is not recommended for direct contact with food items due to potential moisture absorption and degradation concerns.

Applications of PLA 3D Print

Examples of Applications:

  • Point-of-Care 3D Printing: PLA can be used in point-of-care medicine to create customized medical devices and aids that meet the individual needs of patients.
  • Surgical Planning: In the field of surgery, PLA 3D printing enables the creation of precise anatomical models that can be used for surgical planning and simulation.
  • Housings for Medical Devices: PLA can be employed to manufacture casings and enclosures for medical devices and instruments, making them easier and more cost-effective to customize.
  • Prototyping in Mechanical Engineering: PLA is ideal for the rapid and cost-effective production of prototypes for mechanical components and mechanical engineering applications.
  • Demonstration Models and Rapid Prototyping: PLA is commonly used for creating detailed demonstration models and for rapid prototyping, making it an invaluable tool for students and researchers working on various projects.

The versatility of PLA in 3D printing enables a wide range of applications in research and medicine, from individual patient care to medical device engineering, surgical planning, and rapid prototyping for student research projects.

Technical specifications

General Properties

PropertyTest MethodValue
DensityISO 1183, GB/T 10331.17 g/cm3 at 23°C 
Melting Point10°C, 2.16kg7-11 g/10min 
Light TransmissionN/AN/A 
Flame ResistanceN/AN/A
Moisture Absorption0% RH – 23°C0.51 %


Mechanical Properties

Property Test Method Value
Elastic Modulus (X-Y) ISO 527, GB/T 10402636 ± 330 MPa
Elastic Modulus (Z) ISO 527, GB/T 1040 N/A
Tensile Strength (X-Y) ISO 527, GB/T 104046.6 ± 0.9 MPa
Tensile Strength (Z) ISO 527, GB/T 1040 43.5 ± 3.1 MPa
Elongation at Break (X-Y)ISO 527, GB/T 10401.90 ± 0.21 %
Elongation at Break (Z)ISO 527, GB/T 1040N/A
Flexural Modulus (X-Y)ISO 178, GB/T 93413283 ± 132 MPa
Flexural Modulus (Z)ISO 178, GB/T 9341N/A
Flexural Strength (X-Y) ISO 178, GB/T 934185.1 ± 2.9 MPa
Impact Resistance (Charpy X-Y)ISO 179, GB/T 10432.68 ± 0.16 kJ/m2


Thermal Properties

PropertyTest Method Value
Glass Transition Temperature DSC, 10°C/min61°C
Melting Temperature DSC, 10°C/min 150°C
Crystallization Temperature DSC, 10°C/min 113.5°C
Decomposition TemperatureTGA, 20°C/minN/A
Vicat Softening Temperature ISO 306, GB/T 1633 62.90°C
Heat Deflection Temperature ISO 75 1.8MPa 58.1°C
Heat Deflection Temperature ISO 75 0.45MPa 59.8°C
Thermal Conductivity N/AN/A
Thermal Shrinkage N/AN/A


What is FDM Printing ?