3D printing lightweight PLA parts
LW-PLA is the first filament of its kind using an active foaming technology to achieve lightweight, low density PLA parts. At around 230C this material will start foaming, increasing its volume by nearly 3 times.
Users can decrease material flow by 65% to achieve lightweight parts, or use the expanding properties to effectively reduce print time by using big layer heights or single extra thick perimeters.
Active foaming technology, how does it work?
The main input variables to control the expansion are speed, temperature and flow. This allows users to vary density of the material for different parts of the model.
We use the following 4 step process to determine the maximum expansion at a certain speed, temperature and flow.
- Print cubes at a set speed in temperatures varying from 200°C up to 280°C
- Measure perimeter thickness of each cube, note temperature with highest expansion.
- Print cubes with decreasing steps of flow, using temperature found in step 2.
- Find the cube at which perimeter thickness equals nozzle size.