Can you use PLA material with food and drinks?

  • I would like to print fancy plastic cutlery sets or plastic glasses.

    Is it safe to do it? Or bad for your health, if so, why?

    There is one brand that I know of that is undergoing FDA approval in the US. Other than that, I believe there are none.

  • Daniel M.

    Daniel M. Correct answer

    7 years ago

    As others have pointed out, PLA isn't specifically not food safe, but materials that have been printed previously can contaminate the PLA.

    Additionally, anything 3D printed is extremely porous. Once a part is used for food, moisture and bacteria will accumulate in the pores, and can never be completely cleaned out, contaminating any food that contacts it. It can't be sterilized either, because the temperatures needed for sterilization would deform or melt the plastic.

    I've also heard that while PLA and ABS might be fine, the pigment inside them used to give them some color might be dangerous, because you never know, what it is.

    One alternative I've heard of to combat this problem is dipping the entire part in a food-safe polyurethane varnish, thick enough to block all food contact with the actual material. I have no idea if this is safe, but I've heard of it.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM