What materials are used in 3D printing?

3D printing material, PLA.

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Poly Lactic Acid or PLA is made from organic material, for example, cornstarch, tapioca, or sugarcane. PLA is used in the production of bags, food packaging, disposable utensils, plastic bags, and so on. PLA is used as surgical implants such as anchors, rods, pins, or plates. If inserted in the body, PLA breaks into harmless lactic acid within 6 months to a couple of years. The slow degradation helps the body to slowly take over the role of the implanted structure as it recovers.
Since PLA is made from renewable resources, it is one of the most environmentally friendly materials used for 3D printing. PLA is extruded at a temperature of 160°C to 220°C. Since PLA has a low melting temperature, parts made from PLA can warp under heated conditions. When heated for 3D printing, PLA emits a sweet smell similar to corn. These are not harmful fumes and therefore PLA can be used for 3D printing indoors. PLA comes in most colors including translucent and glows in the dark. PLA cools slowly and therefore some 3D printers install a fan to cool down the 3D printed material. When PLA cools down it is tough but rather brittle. PLA has become a popular choice of material for 3D printing due to its environmental friendliness and low toxicity.

Polylactic acid.

DIY 3D printer.

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According to the Fab@home,” it was one of the first two open sources for do-it-yourself (DIY) 3D printer (the other open-source DIY 3D printer was RepRap. The Fab@Home 3D printer utilizes syringe tools that can make objects out of multiple materials. The first version of the Fab@Home print head had two syringes. Later versions of Fab@Home 3D printers had more syringes going all the way up to eight syringes that could be used simultaneously.  Fab@Home 3D printers could be used with several materials including epoxy, silicone, food materials such as chocolate, cookie dough, and cheese, among others.
The Fab@Home project was started by Hod Lipson and Evan Malone of the Cornell University Computational Synthesis Laboratory in 2006.  Before the release of open-source 3D printers, the 3D printer market was dominated by industrial 3D printers. The goal of Fab@Home was to make 3D printers more popular and accessible for common people. The project was continued until 2012. The project was considered complete when the rate at which do-it-yourself 3D printers and consumer printers were being distributed exceeded the rate of industrial 3D printers.¨