Tough PLA is an engineer’s material. You can make truly high-strength, high-wear prototypes or even durable end-use parts like jigs and fixtures. PLA allows you to print stiff parts with minimal warp in ambient conditions. It has a low glass transition temperature and high tensile strength, and it doesn’t emit strong odor when printing – making it great for office or school use. Tough PLA’s bend before break and natural lubricity make it a functional engineering material.
Tough PLA is MakerBot’s solution to make a material with ABS-type properties but with greater reliability. They tested seven formulations before arriving at Tough PLA.
MakerBot sells the Slate Gray Tough PLA Bundle for $379, which includes a dedicated Tough PLA Smart Extruder+ and three 2lb spools of Tough PLA. Because the material requires an extruder with a unique drive system and built in print settings, an approximate value of $199 when compared to the standard Smart Extruder+, the filament comes out to about $60 per 2lb spool. Their standard PLA runs $48 per 2lb spool and $65 for more specialty translucent or neon colors.
>> Read more by Cedric Kovacs-Johnson, Manufacturing Tomorrow, 12/20/16