Sunday 15 April 2012

Peeled PLA

I have read conflicting forum posts as to whether acetone dissolves PLA or not, so I dropped a piece into a jar of acetone for an hour or so. The effect was truly bizarre:

It split into three strands a bit like peeling a banana. It was clear PLA but the acetone was polluted with ABS, which is why it turned white I think. Whereas it is normally transparent and brittle, it has become translucent soft and flexible. When I opened the jar it was under pressure so I think it evolved some gas.

So acetone doesn't dissolve PLA, but it appears to trifurcate it!

Not a very scientific experiment as I should have done it with pure acetone, but interesting never the less.


  1. not all pla created equal.

    I have a green pla which is really stiff, and acetone does not change/destroy it at all.


    1. I have also tried that, with ultimaker natural PLA, it does soften on the surface and only have lightly dissolved into the acetone.

      No trifurcation so far then :)

    2. Sorry, not Ultimaker, Ultimachine instead.

  2. According to this article: acetone causes PLA to crystallise. That might completely explain it because crystalline plastics are translucent rather than transparent and maybe it fractured along the crystal lines.

  3. Out of all the blogs I read this one is the most bizarre. In a good way.

    Other bloggers rummage through half the internet trying to find strange and interesting things to write about. Here, the topic is 3D printing. Only the results are strange and interesting all the time :)