Have you ever wondered what happens when you leave your? PLA 3d prints outside at the mercy of the elements. Well, the results are pretty interesting. I’ve been 3d printing for quite some time. And at the beginning of 2017 I produced a range of 3d printed pots in a range of PLA filaments. My lovely mum potted some of these up, and they’ve been outside in the Sun, wind rain and hail ever since this giant Gator Anderson Cat bust also became the Guardian of our new place style of 2018 So, after all that time, here’s what happened to the prints. Starting with the cat. This was printed on the Ray’s n2 plus in a special color-changing PLA indoors, it has a translucent off-white color, but when exposed to UV light, it turns a vibrant blue, but how did it fare being left nine months in the Sun? The print has been thrown on the ground multiple times due to high winds, but overall it doesn’t appear to have changed very much at all nor become overly brittle. It also didn’t melt despite enduring several summer days exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. But what happened to the blue well? It lasted less than two days outdoors before it faded to its base color and never returned. This robot wheel was printed in the same material and is kept indoors. You can see just how much that pigment has been destroyed by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, Although I can’t talk for all UV activated pigments. I wouldn’t actually leave them in the Sun all the time they don’t seem to last very long at all. However, the PLA itself has stood up much better than I expected and for outdoor sculptures or similar large 3d prints. I’d be quite happy using it again. Remember, poly. Lactic acid will only break down when exposed to the right conditions for a long period of time. It won’t do it just by sitting outdoors next. Is this pot which was produced from algae? Pla, yes, real algae, which was a collaboration between 3d fuel and algae. Although I think you can still buy this filament directly from Aljex, I’ll put a link in the description If it has a high amount of algae biomass mixed in with PLA and has a very unique look and texture. Definitely one of the weirdest I’ve ever tested. He also stinks to high heaven when 3d printing, it’s like nasty burnt cookies, so keep that in mind. This pot was planted up with succulents and exposed to the harsh Australian Sun for over a year. It hasn’t really fared that. Well, the print wasn’t the best quality to start with. I’ll be honest, but what’s instantly Obvious is the bleaching, which has occurred going from a sort of army green to a sickly gray green much lighter in color. It’s also become more brittle over time with chunks Just breaking away with your fingers. Regardless of the layer lines, this does probably mean the material would biodegrade relatively quickly compared to other PLA S. If that’s something important to you, but I can’t exactly recommend it for outdoor use. This pot was created in September 2017 For my anything to pot plant tutorial using mesh mixer actually got a 3d scan of a wellhead and turned it into a pot and it’s been sitting in my garden ever since the form. Futura Terracotta PLA has a really nice matte finish to it, and overall seems to have fared quite well so far, although it’s worth mentioning that this one and a few other pots fell on the ground during a storm so the base has been damaged. The corner is showing some signs of damage too, and the material does feel a little bit more brittle than before. I tried removing some supports. I left in, and they came out really easily. And then the whole damn window fell off. Yay, for 3d scan measures. I don’t actually recall seeing this crack and although it’s possible that the fall did it, it does look like something that was caused through the material expanding and shrinking, perhaps. I’m not too sure, but it is very interesting. Nonetheless, the top of the model is Polly Alchemy, Gold PLA and the color looks pretty much unchanged as well so far, but let’s check out the last and most interesting print that are left outside for over a year. This pot, this was originally printed in Polly Alchemy Elixir PLA natural. Sadly, it was on a higher shelf when the storm ripped through and a fall pretty much exploded the single wall bars mode print. But it’s the color change that. I find the most fascinating. It’s gone. Really, really. Yellow like gold. The color change is intense. The actual material itself still feels quite pliable and not brittle, which is really interesting. This cat print was printed before the pot from the same roll of filament, but it’s lived indoors for its whole life, and you’d not even be able to pick that. These are the same filaments. Now this is caused by UV degradation as due to the oxidization of the polymers. I’ll be honest. The exact process is quite complex and I don’t fully understand it, But essentially, UV light is the biggest enemy to your 3d prints outdoors in the industry, There’s many ways of protecting polymers from UV degradation through the use of various modifiers, However, I highly doubt you’ll find them. In your everyday 3d printing filaments, except maybe carbon black, carbon black dissipates heat and protects the polymer from UV radiation that way, however, they’ll probably just cause the PLA prints to melt in the Sun instead of discoloring. This video is in no means a detailed explanation of the science behind What’s going on when you leave your PLA prints outdoors, but I hope it shows you that they’re generally a lot more robust than you might think. I’m sure some intense summers might melt or deform your models like I discovered when you leave them in your car. And some areas with snow and freezing temperatures might experience Cold embrittlement, but as long as you’re okay with the fact that your prints will probably fade and yellow. I think PLA survives a lot better than people think in the great outdoors, so thanks for watching. And if you enjoyed this video, maybe consider subscribing to make his muse is my aim to empower your creativity, and if you’ve missed my face, don’t worry. We’ll be returning to our regularly scheduled programming shortly. Thanks for watching guys bye.