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How to print with Ultimaker Tough PLA

Tough PLA is a technical PLA (polylactic acid) material with toughness similar to ABS. Ideal for reliably printing functional prototypes and tooling at larger sizes, our Tough PLA offers the same safe and simple use as regular PLA.

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Ultimaker Tough PLA can be printed on the Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker S3 and Ultimaker 3 family printers using an AA print core. On other Ultimaker 3D printers you may use this material experimentally, although no official print profiles are supplied. Tough PLA can be used experimentally by selecting PLA as a starting profile.

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Ultimaker Tough PLA has optimised settings for the Ultimaker Pro Bundle, Air Manager and Material Station. This ensures a good end of filament and end of print experience in the Material Station and an optimal build environment with the Air Manager. Please make sure to use the latest version of Ultimaker Cura and ensure the firmware has the latest update.

Tough PLA can also be used for dual-extrusion prints, in combination with PVA, Breakaway, or another color of Tough PLA. Below you can find the complete compatibility overview for Tough PLA.

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The experimental and not supported combinations have not been verified, since limited use cases are available. Results are dependent on the model type that is used.

Recommended settings and configuration

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Just as regular PLA, Tough PLA prints at moderate temperatures. The nozzle temperature is between 210 and 220 °C and the build plate temperature is set to 60 °C. These temperatures are the same for the Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker S3 and Ultimaker 3. Depending on the selected profile in Ultimaker Cura there are small differences in the nozzle temperatures. These have been optimized to print properly with the selected print core size and layer height profile.

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Tough PLA adheres well to the build plate, so printing the initial layer is usually easy. For the best results, especially with large prints, and to reduce the chance of glass plate chipping, it is advised to apply a thin layer of glue (included in the accessory box of your 3D printer) to the glass plate. Printing with Ultimaker Tough PLA doesn’t require any additional accessories.


In Ultimaker Cura the default build plate adhesion type for all Tough PLA profiles is with a brim. This enables even large models to adhere well to the build plate.

Print environment

Tough PLA is an easy-to-print material and therefore does not require additional accessories to create a stable printing environment. However, on the Ultimaker 3 you can use the front enclosure from the Advanced 3D Printing Kit to obtain more consistent and reliable 3D prints.

Health and safety

Ultimaker Tough PLA emits a low level of gases and particles when 3D printed in accordance with the recommended temperatures in the table above. To ensure a comfortable and healthy working environment, we recommend 3D printing in a well-ventilated area.

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