3D printers have revolutionized the manufacturing industry. They can do so much more than what the mainstream manufacturing methods are capable of. They do this using less time, fewer resources, less labor, and offer a low risk of errors. They practically can bring anything into existence. But while the freedom to design and construct objects is limitless, it is crucial to understand the materials you are using to print the object and where the final product will be used. This is especially true when the finished product will come into contact with food.

PLA (Polylactic acid) is a bioplastic material and is one of the most common 3D printing filaments available today. The plastic is gotten from plants and is easily processed. PLA filaments have many benefits. It prints at a lower temperature than many other 3D printing filaments, such as ABS. it also does not require a heated print bed. Since the material is made from natural materials, many have assumed that it is food-safe. This is true but not in all cases. We need to be extra careful to make sure our health is secured. This article will major on what influences the material’s food safety. Visit https://shop.snapmaker.com/ to get a PLA spool today and ace your creative journey.

What are the food-safe risks of office?

Since PLA is a thermoplastic material, it is generally safe for food. A study done in 1995 did several tests on PLA filament to determine how it breaks down, now that it has been recognized as safe(GRAS) for food contact.

However, there are other things to check before you can fully ascertain that PLA is food safe.

  • PLA additives

In its purest form, PLA filament is food safe. However, some PLA filaments might be colored and the additives most likely will not be food safe. If you are 3D printing an object that will regularly come into contact with food, it is best to use natural PLA filament. This one has not been dyed. Another way to make sure whether it is food safe or not, is to look at the material information and safety data sheet for a particular brand. Doing this details of a particular 

  • Non-food-safe printheads

The 3D printing process itself can be a danger to food. In most cases, the metal hotend of the 3D printer is made from a non-food-grade material. The filament being ejected is constantly in contact with the metal. This can lead to the food being contaminated and having traces of food on the 3D-printed object. The solution is using stainless steel like brass. Brass nozzles contain lead and harmful particles in the 3D print. Do not be concerned about whether your hot end will affect the quality of your prints as long as you use a stainless steel nozzle.

  • Bacteria contamination

Every creator using a 3D print should be aware of this. Did you know that bacteria and germs can get stuck in and grow in 3D-printed objects? Printed parts usually look solid, but what you do not see is that they have tiny pores in them that can trap moisture and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. The tiny pores are known to trap tiny particles of food. This can lead to potentially harmful bacteria growth in the body.

It is also difficult to ensure that a PLA part has been properly sanitized for food contact.

Another important issue is the cleanness of the 3D printer. The 3D printer should always be left clean and in good condition. Especially when you are printing objects to be used with food. Additionally, if you had printed using another filament apart from PLA, then the machine should be cleaned thoroughly before using it with another filament. Failure to do this, you might find traces of ABS in PLA filament-made material.

You can find black PLA filament from https://shop.snapmaker.com/ today at a good price.