This revolutionary new material from ColorFabb is the first material of kind to utilize active foaming technology to achieve lightweight, low-density PLA parts. At 230°C, LW-PLA will begin to foam and expand - this unique property allows users to experiment and fine-tune their print settings to achieve different results - users can decrease material flow by 65% to create lightweight parts, or they can take advantage of the expanding properties to effectively reduce print time through larger layer heights or single extra thick perimeters.
EXPAND YOUR PRINTING HORIZONS WITH COLORFABB LW-PLA
The key to mastering LW-PLA lies in understanding the effect exposure to heat has on its expansion properties. At 230°C LW-PLA will begin to foam and expand, by experimenting with decreasing the flow rate – that is increasing the amount of time it takes the filament to pass through the hot end and nozzle – the more this material will expand.
Take advantage of the 3x expanding properties of LW-PLA to achieve ultra-lightweight parts!
HOW TO DETERMINE THE EXPANSION RATE OF LW-PLA
In order to print lightweight parts that are dimensionally accurate, it is essential to first determine what the possible expansion rate of the material will be. Determining the expansion rate can be achieved in a few ways, the following 4 step process below will assist you in determining the maximum expansion rate – given that variables of nozzle size and layer height are fixed.
- Print cubes at a set speed in temperatures varying from 200°c up to 280°c, increasing temperature by 10°C per test print.
- Measure the perimeter thickness of each cube, note the temperature with the highest rate of expansion.
- Print cubes with decreasing steps of flow, using temperature found in step 2.
- Find the cube at which perimeter thickness equals nozzle size.
Experimenting with print settings such as temperature, flow rate, and speed will be required in order to fully take advantage of the expanding properties of LW-PLA.
ColorFabb’s LW-PLA can be used in a multitude of different applications; however, the most common use cases for this material is to either achieve lightweight printed parts or to rapidly prototype models by increasing layer heights.
Lightweight printing can be achieved at temperatures between 245° - 260°C, Flow speeds as low as 65%, and print speeds no faster than 40mm/s. When experimenting with these settings it is important to keep in mind that due to decreased flow rate the hotend may become prone to clogging as a result of material expansion.
The expanding nature of LW-PLA enables users to 3D print with larger layer heights than the nozzle itself. Dramatically shortening build times for 1st draft prototypes.
- Spool Size: 0.75kg
- Diameter Tolerance: ± 0.1 mm
- Density: 210-1.430 g·cm-3 (non activated density); 0.403 – 0,476 g·cm-3 (maximum activated density)
- Glass Transition Temperature: 55°C