Is PLA filament conductive?

  • I am planing on printing something that will make contact with PCB boards. The print will be most likely to be in PLA. I don't want to fry the PCB board so I want to know if 3D printed PLA objects are conductive.



    I googled and found out about special non-conductive PLA and conductive PLA. But what about the conductivity of normal PLA?


    If it was conductive people would already be using it for 3D printed PCBs.

    Technically everything is conductive to some degree. Unless you've got some super sensitive components in general you'll be good. PLA can be used as an insulator so long as the voltages are low enough i.e. the 3-9 volt range you're probably good to go

  • Barron B.

    Barron B. Correct answer

    5 years ago

    Normal PLA is non-conductive. You can take an $\Omega$-meter to a test part if you're really concerned somehow you have some PLA that is conductive.


    There is a caveat that your color may include metal flake or graphite of some kind. Depending on the density it may be conductive. But I've tested my silver on hand and it gave me infinite resistance.


    Okay, good to know. Thanks! I would test it with a meter but I don't have one.

    @Alic cheap meters are pretty cheap. Example, which I can't vouch for: https://www.amazon.com/Ranging-Digital-Multimeter-Voltage-Current/dp/B00HC5GXZM . If you're doing anything with circuits, you'll be much happier to have at least something like that on hand though. (Better ones are better, but more expensive)

    One note, EVERYTHING is conductive to some degree. The OP should keep in mind that for their case non-conductive PLA will 'probably' be fine for their application. 3D printers are fairly low voltage in general. But, don't treat it as gospel in all cases. I.e. Don't make a high voltage shield out of PLA...or any 3d printed plastic, better yet just don't mess with high voltage period.

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