Starch based 3D printing filaments are plant-based bio-plastics that have a silky smooth surface that is comparable to the aesthetics of an oil-based plastic. Starch filaments are based on potato starch, unlike PLA which is based on lactic acid derived from cornstarch. As they are bio-based, starch filaments are biodegradable. Make sure you understand the difference between biodegradable and compostable materials.
Starch filaments are part of the ever growing group of more sustainable, bio-based 3D printing filaments. Whilst starch filaments are often compared to PLA, there are some important differences between the two. The key mechanical difference is that starch filament tends to be much less brittle than PLA. The other important difference between starch and PLA filaments is their glass transition temperature (Tg) PLA has a particularly low Tg of 60-65°C whereas starch filaments tend to have a higher Tg. This slight increase in Tg means that starch filaments can be post-processed using techniques like sanding, without the risk of over-heating and deforming the product. Due to its increased flexibility and easier post-processing, starch filaments can even be considered more similar to ABS than PLA.