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Is it possible to make a glue with PLA? Answered

I have heard and seen videos of people combining acetone with ABS plastic from failed 3D prints, turning it into a glue. Would this work if I used PLA? Is there any other kind of plastic that this can work with? I would prefer NOT to have to destroy my LEGOS (LEGOS are made from ABS), and I don't use ABS filament. (releases chemicals)

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Downunder35m
Downunder35m

12 months ago

For PLA you need to use Ethyl Acetate.
Works the same as acetone with ABS.

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Orngrimm
Orngrimm

Reply 12 months ago

Also, PLA reacts with liquid acetone to soften. I use it all the time to glue/fuse together 3D-printed parts...

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Downunder35m
Downunder35m

Reply 12 months ago

But it does so very slowly and PLA loves to create tiny gaps in the layers where the stuff sweeps in.
Try EA one day and if you are like me you won't go back or regret it ;)
You can even make it yourself if you can't find a supplier.
Without a still though you would need to use glacial acetic acid and waterfree ethanol (99%).
And no, don't even bother to open a bottle of glacial acetic acid without proper AND COMPLETE PPE!
It is nasty stuff and even I try to obtain my EA ready to go instead of making it.
Only make it myself if desperate or hard to buy - oh wait, we have a pandemic you say? ;)

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Cheesey125
Cheesey125

Reply 12 months ago

wow! thanks!

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Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

Best Answer 12 months ago

ABS is not that hard to find.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylonitrile_butadiene_styrene#Applications

It is used, widely, in a whole bunch of different things, including electronic goods that come in a plastic enclosure, like computer monitors, keyboards, etc.

One way to tell if a piece of plastic is ABS, is if those letters, "ABS" are printed conspicuously on the inside surface on some piece of plastic junk.

The inside surface of a plastic enclosure, is a place where the manufacturer might have been thoughtful enough to leave such a mark. Maybe they put it there as a message to themselves? Or as a message to recyclers, indicating which bin to put it in?

Another clue is the nasty smell ABS plastic makes when burned or melted, or 3D printed probably. Although I have not yet smelled ABS being 3D printed.

Anyway, zooming out a little bit, to the general recipe for making a glue from a plastic plus a solvent... I think the trick to that is picking a solvent that dissolves that kind of plastic.

Uh, basically: [plastic] + [solvent] = [glue] ?

Example: ABS + acetone = ABS+acetone glue?

In the Wikipedia page titled, "Solvent bonding," there is a table titled, "Thermoplastic and solvent compatibility," and it has a list of plastics, in the left hand column, and a list of "compatible solvents" in the right hand column.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solvent_bonding#Thermoplastic_and_solvent_compatibility

I do not see PLA (poly lactic acid) in that list. However the Wikipedia article for PLA,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polylactic_acid

has some hints as to what solvents can dissolve that plastic, in the sections titled "Solvent Welding" and "Organic Solvents for PLA."

One of these solvents is ethyl acetate,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethyl_acetate

and that stuff is not too hard to find. Some nail polish removers are mostly ethyl acetate, but the only way to know for sure what is in the bottle, is to read the SDS, or MSDS.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_data_sheet

I am naively guessing the recipe for PLA+ethylacetate glue is:

PLA + ethyl acetate = PLA+ethylacetate glue

but that wild guess is really just following the analogy you suggested; i.e.

[plastic] + [solvent] = [glue]