As a 3D artist, you must know that sometimes, your models are too big for your 3D printers. What happens then? You can’t drill nails into PLA to join your pieces together, as you might do with other materials. For your 3D PLA models, the best option is glue.
In this review, we’ll look at some of the best glues for PLA, and how you can use different kinds of glue for bonding your 3D PLA printed parts. That’s not all. We’ll also show you why we have picked one of these options as our best choice.
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- Works on a variety of materials (plastic, metal, fabric, stone, ceramic, paper, rubber)
- Has an anti-clog cap with a metal pin
- Complete and long-lasting repairs within seconds
- Great design
- No glue back up since side fins allow the gun to lay on its side
- Interchangeable nozzles available
- Thick viscosity
- Awesome for plastic model assembly
- Fast and efficient
- Lasts very long. Does not dry up after first use
- Non-toxic and odorless
- Perfects the first layer of 3D printing
- Effective in attaching paper to surfaces
- Can be applied to a variety of surfaces without fuss, so scope of application is wider than that of similar glue sticks
- Maintains shape and texture, as well as the size of the cardboard, photo, or other items it has been used on
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
3D artists and hobbyists have always argued on the best kind of glue for PLA models. However, many agree that cyanoacrylate (known as Super Glue) is a definite choice. So, we looked into different brands that produce super glue for PLA. There were a lot of options to pick from, but we have settled for the 3D Printer Adhesive Glue.
This glue has an amazing 90-day, no-strings-attached money-back guarantee. Of course, this is not to say that it is not certain to give you the best quality prints for your PLA models. We just think it’s pretty great that you won’t lose your money in the rare event that it doesn’t work for you. Let’s take a look at some features.
- Thermal dynamic coating
- No-mess applicator
- Can hold onto surfaces even when your 3D printing surface is hot
- Coating dries alongside the printed material
- Easily detachable
- No chance of a clogged up nozzle
- Does not work on aluminum bed surfaces
- Doesn’t work with very high temperature
- Does not work on microporous coating
- It is not supported by a magnetic bed
Glue For PLA: Buying Guide
There are various types of glues for PLA. PLA also differs, and it’s important to know the purpose of the glue you want to use before purchase. Don’t forget the fact that glues can provide an extended life span for your PLA models. When choosing glue, always make sure to look at the point on which you want to put the glue and the surface on which you want to attach the glue.
Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?
Check out our list below for a summary of our results.
- Gorilla Super Glue Gel (Our Overall #1 Pick)
- Surebonder Glue Gun
- Bob Smith Maxi Cure
- Maggio Pen Adhesive for 3D Printing
- UHU Stick
Flexibility of the PLA
A factor you might want to look into while selecting your choice of glue is the flexibility of the PLA. Some glues make PLA assume a rigid position after they set and cure, which might not be suitable if you want that part to be flexible. On the other hand, it might be useful for another portion you want to be solid and firm.
Surface preparation of PLA can also influence your choice of glue. PLA surfaces can either be sanded or unsanded, and different glues may be required depending on the kind of surface. A glue that bonds perfectly for sanded PLA may not produce the same result for unsanded PLA. Keep this in mind when selecting your choice of glue.
This is another criterion for selecting your PLA glue. This can be essential if there are parts of the PLA that can’t be clamped. A glue that sets quickly can be very useful in such instances.
Sometimes, there’s just no way to escape using glue for your 3D PLA models. Using glue to bond your 3D models helps improve aesthetic quality above all other options. Here are some pointers when choosing the right kind of glue for your 3D models.
What Is PLA Glue?
Polylactic Acid (PLA) is made of renewable material like sugarcane and corn starch. It is used to make degradable bioplastics for food packaging, medical implants, and also 3D printing.
PLA Glue is an adhesive specially formulated for PLA plastics. Although PLA glue can also be applied to other materials, other kinds of glue might not work for it. PLA glue is important for your 3D modeling, especially when you are working with large models that are too big for your printing plate.
What Adhesives to Use for PLA?
To glue PLA together, there are a lot of options. Take a look at some of them below.
Cyanoacrylate is a family of adhesives, and have found their use in many places. In industries, hospitals, and even households, cyanoacrylates are the preferred option for gluing items together. Cyanoacrylates are popularly known as Super Glues. They are fast and quick to dry; hence people prefer them because they save time. For 3D artists, this is one of the top choices for gluing 3D printed parts.
Epoxy has many uses. It is one of the most versatile bonding options that exist and is created by mixing two gluing components that will match and stick together to form glue. When using epoxy, the resin is the third component and acts as a hardener to complete the gluing process. This PLA adhesive takes a longer period to completely cure since heat is given off after the components have been mixed. In chemistry, this is referred to as an exothermic reaction.
Acetone is an organic compound that is miscible with water and serves as an organic solvent. Acetone is also known as paint thinner, and it can be used to bond 3D printed parts made of PLA. For the best option for gluing PLA to PVC, you should check this out. When gluing PLA pieces together with acetone, a thin layer of acetone is applied to the surface to be bonded. Too much acetone can damage 3D printed parts, so you should be careful when using this adhesive. Acetone is also a flammable liquid and should be used away from open flame or hot surfaces.
What is acetone you can watch in this video:
This is similar to using a solder, but the difference is that PLA is used as a filament. This method works for most filament types and PLA. Instead of a soldering iron, a 3D printing pen can be used.
3D printing is not child’s play. There are safety precautions that must be taken when printing your 3D models and when bonding them. For instance, if you want to bond PLA to metal, extra care must be taken to prevent exposure to toxic fumes. Other safety tips include:
- Beware of flammable material. 3D printing can be done under extreme heat, and you must ensure that there are no flammable materials nearby
- Take care not to inhale the toxic fumes
- Keep children away
- Wash your hands immediately after working
- Make sure the lab you’re working in is well ventilated
The Best Glue for PLA
The top best product [hide]
Gorilla Super Glue Gel
- Very thick; does not need control gel
- Short drying time
- Provides strength and resistance against drops and falls
Surebonder Glue Gun
- Cordless glue gun
- Three different models to choose from
- Comes with an insulated nozzle
- Automatic shutdown after 30 minutes
Bob Smith Maxi Cure
- Great for filling voids
- Bonds a wide variety of materials
- Includes both CA glue and accelerator
Maggio Pen Adhesive for 3D Printing
- No sticking problems
- Helps to prevent warping on surfaces
- Ensures a strong adhesion to the hot plate
- Top choice for attaching pictures to photo albums
- Washable, does not leave wrinkles and dries clear
- Does not dry out at all
Glue For PLA: FAQs
What is the best glue for PLA?
Does Super Glue melt PLA finishing techniques?
Does Gorilla Glue work on PLA?
Does acetone melt PLA?
What Is the Meaning of PLA
To reiterate what has already been said in this review, gluing your PLA models together helps to add more functionality and aesthetic quality to your models. The kind of surface you use for your 3D printing is also important, as metallic surfaces will need a different kind of glue, compared to plastic surfaces.
If you’ve read through up till this point, there is no doubt that you can now make the best choice in glue for 3D printed PLA models. Keep printing, and keep gluing!