PLA vs PLA+

Can someone tell me the difference between PLA and PLA+ filament? I’d like to purchase the best filament for use with my A1 Mini. Thank you.

There is no agreed definition of what constitutes PLA+

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PLA plus is like “new and improved”. It’s marketing hype that preys on the week-minded that don’t do there research. In a word, “gullable suckers” who fall for every buzz word they hear. Since you’re asking the question to begin with, that excludes you from that crowd.

As far as “The best filament goes”. That too can be answered by the same rule where one asks “How long is a piece of string”.

The point is, there is no such thing as “best filament” there is only opinion and best suited for a specific use-case.

There’s a saying in photography. “What’s the best camera? Answer: The one you have with you now”. The wisdom there is that one can have spent a lot of money on something but if it does not suit your needs, then no money was spent well.

A better approach is to ask yourself what is important to you. Here are some suggestions to ponder for your use-case:

  • Is your objective to produce artful good-looking prints? In that case, silk might be best for you.
  • Are you looking to produce parts that are strong and functional? PETG and ABS come to mind and each has advantages but where ABS wins slightly on strength, it also generates toxic fumes and the print chamber needs to be kept hot. It also does not do well in sunlight. PETG does well on strength without the fumes but it can be temperamental and stringy. It is not as strong as ABS but it can withstand sunlight, so it’s good for outdoor use.
  • Or are you looking for easy hassle-free printing that is all round decent looking? PLA is the A+ of filament blood types. It does everything well but it is not best in class at any one thing unless you call being a jack of all trades a class.

And as far as filament brands go. Unless you’re the kind that likes to brag that you have an Apple watch, a Timex keeps the same time. Likewise, filaments vary in quality but if there is one thing that has become obvious. The bigger the name, the higher the price without proof that you’re getting more for your money… just like an Apple watch. :wink:

Bottom line is to buy one of each filament as you go along and note in a spreadsheet or log, how that filament performed. Some of the things that you will note is what the Spool is made of. Cardboard is not recommended in an AMS and it sheds dust like no tomorrow on external spool holders. Plastic is generally better but some spools are better than others such as the ones that are transparent or have multiple filament parking notches.

In the end, like wine, only you can judge what is best for you and don’t let any marketing Bullshit persuade you differently. Remember, marketers and sales people… all liers with an agenda.

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PLA+ is meant to be slightly more impact resistant, slightly higher in strength, slightly more flexibile. In other words, slightly better than PLA.
I don’t agree that it’s all just marketing hype. Sure, some manufacturers will market any old PLA as being “+”, or “pro” just to ensure they’re getting your business but from my findings, PLA+ does print and look better than normal PLA. So as long as you buy a reputable brand, you can expect it to perform well. And also, some of the more reputable brands are actually cheaper than the no-name brands. Some things to look for in a supplier is how neatly the rolls are wound (I’ll stick my neck out and say that Prusament is the best I’ve used), the advertised and actually measured tolerance, how and what the spool is constructed of, the quality of packing, whether they come in reusable, sealed bags and desiccant, the actual moisture content of the filament when it’s first pulled out, and that their support is highly rated. Some other neat features to look for are plenty of holes or slots in the sides to store the loose end, and simple gauges on the side to tell how much filament is left on the spool.

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Thank you for your response. I will be shopping more carefully now for my filaments.

Thank you for your response. I prefer the nice slick appearance of silk PLA, but it has been very difficult to work with and has given me some good and some bad prints. I like the suggestion of running a spreadsheet. I’ll do that.

I find that Silk PLA usually needs to be 5* hotter, same with PLA+.
210* PLA
215* PLA+, Pro, Silk, Marble, & Glitters.
230* PLA Prusament

…of coarse, this is JMO.

“I find that Silk PLA usually needs to be 5* hotter, same with PLA+”.

Yep. Thanks much.