PLA based filament in natural color.
- Active foaming technology
- Low density
- Light weight
- Suitable for printing with big layers
- Wide range of processing temperature
Heated bed not required
Matte surface finishing
|Glass transition temperature
LW PLA has a wide printing temperature range from 195 to 260 °C, if you have the heated bed, not strictly necessary, set it at 50-60 °C. Bed covering: tape or glue. The suggested 3D print speed is around 40-100 mm/s.
How to print with LW PLA
LW PLA uses an active foaming technology which is triggered by temperature. At around 230 °C this material will start foaming, increasing its volume. At its peak the filament will expand nearly 3 times its volume, meaning you can decrease flow by 65% to obtain lightweight parts, or use the expanding properties to speed up print time by using big layer heights or single extra thick perimeters.
• 1.210-1.430 g/cm3 (non activated density)
• 0.403-0.476 g/cm3 (maximum activated density)
Decreasing flow means using less filament. You can expect to print 2-3 times more parts using LW-PLA compared to a regular PLA spool. LW-PLA prints in a fantastic matte looking surface finish and is very easy to post process. Any oozing or stringing artifacts rub right off and the surface is easily sanded for a smooth finish.
Cosplay, medical instruments, grips, drone and RC plane. Every print where weight is of the essence.
How does it work?
For the filament to expand it is necessary to put a certain amount of energy into the filament. The amount of energy a filament can absorb during printing depends on the length of the hot-zone and the time it takes for the filament to pass through the hot-zone. The longer a filament will reside inside the hot-end, the more energy it can absorb which will increase the amount of expansion.
Assuming nozzle size and layer height are fixed, our main input variables are temperature, speed and flow to determine the amount of expansion.
Lightweight printing can be done by tuning these settings. Keep in mind that if the flow is decreased to low values the hot-end might clog due to the filament expanding before exiting the nozzle.
Due to the expanding behavior of the material it is possible to 3D print with larger layer heights the nozzle itself, this means short build times for quick draft models.
If you want to print lightweight parts which are dimensionally accurate, it’s important to first determine the possible expansion of the material. This can be done by printing single perimeter test cubes without top and bottom layers. Follow these 4 step process to determine the maximum expansion at a certain speed, temperature and flow.
1- Print cubes at a set speed in temperatures varying from 200 °C up to 280 °C
2- Measure perimeter thickness of each cube, note temperature with highest expansion.
3- Print cubes with decreasing steps of flow, using temperature found in step 2.
4- Find the cube at which perimeter thickness equals nozzle size.
Due to all the different types of hot-end it's extremely difficult to give a temperature advice. Please consider these tips, provided by the manufacturer, as a starting point to find the temperatures that work well in your setup. You may have to adjust the temperature settings slightly based on your type of printer.