In an ideal world, there would be the best possible PLA bed temperature that would be perfect. In this case all you would have to do is to set your printer at that theoretically perfect setting and just hit the print command.
In reality, you have to understand that the perfect temperature for PLA filament (also known as polylactic acid) really does not exist.
As a matter of fact, it takes a lot of trial and error to achieve such a perfect PLA print temperature.
As a general rule, the PLA filament itself is very forgiving, especially when it comes to various temperature variations. The thing is that as long as you keep its limitations in mind when 3D printing with PLA and you resist the urge to go too far, your 3D prints should be absolutely fine.
Furthermore, all PLA filaments are a really great way to ease your way into the world of 3D experimentation. This is because it is a whole lot easier to use than many other popular but advanced filaments such as ABS (acrylonkitrile butadiene styrene) or for that matter even the ever-popular PETG (polyethylene terephthalate) filament.
A really important point to remember here is that whenever you decide to try out any new ranges of temperature you will have to keep in mind the specific colors as well as brands of the PLA filament since they all tend to have a sweet spot at entirely different temperatures.
Image credit: Youtube Thomas Sanladerer
Should You Use a Heated Bed For PLA 3D Printing?
In order to understand this question, you will need to ask yourself if a heated bed is really needed for PLA printing.
While having a single temperature is a great idea, you will need a variable heat bed because of the vast range of different heats requirements. This will depend entirely on your own needs specific needs.
Generally speaking, the total range of all types of PLA hovers around 190°C to 220°C at the very most.
If your layers are directly adhering to one another instead of becoming separate and individual layers, a well-heated hot end can usually fix it. On the other hand, cooling your printer’s hot end can also help with print quality.
If the extruder is a bit too hot, the PLA filament’s overall quality can and probably will suffer and it will become both extra soft as well as flimsy. In the long run, it will definitely cause your 3D prints to become both messy as well as droopy, and mar their visual protection as well.
Can You Get Away Without Heating The Bed?
Many experts usually believe that it is entirely possible to print PLA filament, even without the luxury of a heated bed. However, such a bed is a great aid in first layer adhesion so it comes highly recommended, even by the good people who make PLA filaments in the first place.
For optimum first layer adhesion, you would be well-served with a heated bed between 40 to 50 degrees centigrade.
As a rule, PLA doesn’t always require a heated bed in order to print d PLA due to its low warping threshold, (relative to other filaments. In this case, it would be a prudent idea to use such a printer bed because it can definitely make all those first few layer adhesion a whole lot easier.
In a nutshell, it is not really necessary to have this kind of PLA work, but it can certainly make your build a whole not more durable in the long run.
Large Models That Are At Risk of Warping
All model cool down while they are in the process of being printed. When that happens the material will start to shrink and the resulting contraction will lead to stress warping which is caused by stress resulting from material shrinkage during its cool down mode.
However, the larger the model, the more susceptible the build is to any sort of warping related issues. In fact, the denser the infill, the more likely it is that your model will start to warp.
What Temperature Should ABS Be At?
If you are interested in printing with ABS you have to heat up your printer bed up to at least 110°C or so. This is only possible if you have a bed temperature that is fully controllable.
How Do You Get PLA To Stick To The Bed?
There are many ways of getting high PLA to stick to your printer’s bed. Some of them include the following:
Using Adhesive Aids
There are various adhesive aids that exist for holding down 3D prints. This holds particularly true when you are 3D printing in PLA. These include your average PVA glue and even hairspray. Apart from that, there are plenty of commercial solutions such as Magigoo too. However, all filament manufacturers have their own instructions regarding the best solution for making PLA stick to the bed.
There is also Kapton tape, glue stick, and blue painters tape (blue tape) that can also get the same job done without any fuss or bother when it comes to printing PLA.
Magnetic Build Surface
The best thing about a magnetic build surface is that it will effectively make sure that your PLA prints will always stick to the platform. However, after printing, it is possible to just simply pry your build from the print bed. In order to do this, it is possible to take the top part of the off the base magnet and gently pull off your build.
Many people use a few specific brands of at least 60 c hairspray to help them to get their PLA filaments to stick to their print beds. This is a very simple and cost-effective method that can also get the job done right in no time at all.
All of the above methods can help you to make sure that you can remove perfect PLA prints from your print bed, time after time, every time.