Does annealing PLA increase heat resistance?

Did you know? Amplifying the thermal resistance of your 3D creations is attainable with a method known as annealing. While the procedure can pose challenges, executing it correctly can yield impressive enhancements. Dive into this guide to discover how to fortify the heat tolerance of your 3D prints.


To bolster the heat endurance of 3D prints, an immersion in a consistent heat treatment, namely annealing, is key. This involves exposing your masterpiece to unwavering heat—either using an oven or by immersing in boiling water—and allowing it a cooling phase. This metamorphosis refines the core construct of your model, enhancing its resilience against heat.

Stay tuned to delve deeper into fortifying your 3D prints against high temperatures.

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Let’s zoom in! Annealing: Essentially, it’s a thermal treatment applied to materials to augment their heat resistance and fortitude. When dealing with PLA prints, they can be subjected to heat ranging from 60-110°C. This initiates a phenomenon termed as crystallization, where the material’s form begins its journey towards crystallinity.

Here’s a breakdown of techniques to anneal a PLA masterpiece:
1. Baking in an Oven: Many enthusiasts prefer electric or toaster ovens due to their uniform heat distribution. To master this:
– Set your oven to approximately 110°C.
– Position your models inside for around 60 minutes.
– Power off and let your piece cool within. This cooling transition reshapes the material’s properties, mitigating the internal tensions accumulated during heating.
– Tip: Always have a thermometer on hand! It’s crucial to confirm the real-time oven temperature.
– Concerned about baking your PLA in the culinary oven? It’s wise to use a designated toaster oven to avoid potential contamination.

2. Immersing in Hot Water: Another method involves:
– Heating a substantial quantity of water till it reaches its boiling point.
– Bag your 3D model and submerge it for 2-5 minutes.
– Transition your piece to cold water.
– Dry thoroughly.

3. Baking on 3D Printer’s Heated Bed: Emulating the oven technique, some suggest employing the 3D printer’s heated platform. Amplify its heat to about 80-110°C, shield with a cardboard box, and maintain this setting for about half an hour.

Perfecting the Annealing Temperature: Ideal oven-based annealing temperatures for PLA fluctuate between 60-170°C, typically settling around 90-120°C. Treading too close to the melting threshold might compromise its integrity, so precision is pivotal.

Preventing Warping: To deter distortions:
– Embed your creation in a sand-filled container before oven exposure.
– Gradually cool post heating.
– Or, immerse in boiling water while sealed in a bag and subsequently dunk in cold water.

PETG Heat Tolerance: PETG stands resilient up to about 70°C, outdoing PLA’s 60°C resistance. For reference, ABS and ASA showcase a robust resistance of nearly 95°C.

VIDEO: Comparing Heat Tolerance – PETG vs. Other Filaments