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PLA vs other 3D print materials

Antonio S.
New Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  


I have seen on different RC boat sites many pros and cons regarding the use of PLA vs other materials for 3D printing. I know I must not leave the boat in the car on a hot day (already have experience with a submarine needing a new bow). But is there any other concern? Seawater, epoxy detaching, etc. I have already made and tried a Nano with epoxy joints and seems to be ok.

By the way, I am new on the site, but did not see an introduction post so I jumped straight in. Hi everyone.

Antonio Saldana
Just starting in RG65

Active Member Admin
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 11

Hi Antonio. Welcome on-board.


I am using PLA+ for my 3d prints when it comes to hull building as it is considered stronger than common PLA. However these materials can get affected a lot by heat and high impacts (collisions etc). So I am very concerned on their life-span and I only use printed hulls for prototyping and testing. I am not in favor of having my racing boat to be constructed from these materials as in a regatta you definitely need durability.

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I Love the smell of the sea breeze in the morning!!!

Active Member National Reps
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 9

Hi guys,

I am printing some part (internal structures) of the my boat with PLA+ (and a very cheap printer) and they seems to hold well, but I need to do a real test.

The parts I glued with epoxy (PLA+ on a carbon hull) seems to form a strong bonding. The only shrewdness I can suggest is to sandpaper a little the printed parts with a coarse-grained sandpaper, but that is valid in general.

@antsal while I don't think epoxy detaching can be a problem (I was able to detach two printed parts, but using a knife and a lot of force), maybe saltwater can be a problem in the long run but I bet that eventually saltwater ruins something else like servos, receiver and so on, long before the PLA/PLA+

As for the impact, there are some products that can strengthen the printed part (like the Smooth-On XTC3D or similar) which have the bonus to smooth the part. But also a thin layer of epoxy as coat can go a long way.

I suppose we all need to experiment


Goth XP
ITA 02