Craftcloud Now Offers Lightweight PLA

Craftcloud is thrilled to announce the availability of lightweight PLA (LW-PLA) on our platform.

3D printing already offers the benefit of creating objects with less mass through infill structures and, therefore, less weight. But there’s always room for improvement. With lightweight PLA, you can bring the weight of your prints down significantly. And you don’t even need CAD design changes to print with this material.

What makes Lightweight PLA special?

Lightweight PLA brands add a special foaming material to the normal Polylactic Acid (PLA) filament used in FDM printing. As the foam is triggered by temperature, it expands when pushed through the printer nozzle, usually at 230 °C. According to the popular filament manufacturer Colorfabb, its filament can expand to nearly three times its volume. Most filament manufacturers boast a weight loss of up to 65% compared to regular PLA filament.

The density ranges from 0.403 g/cm³ to 0.476 g/cm³ when fully activated, compared to the standard 1.210 g/cm³ to 1.430 g/cm³ for non-activated PLA. This reduction in weight is crucial for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios.

What are the benefits of Lightweight PLA?

There are many reasons why you should consider lightweight PLA. 

  1. Reduced weight: You can reduce the weight by up to 65%. Of course, this depends on the geometry of the 3D file.
  2. Broad color palette: Craftcloud offers various colors and specifications of LW-PLA. 
  3. Enhanced creativity and customization: The unique properties of LW-PLA enable designers and engineers to create intricate lightweight structures that were previously challenging or impossible to fabricate with traditional PLA materials. 
  4. Reduced material costs and efficiency: Expanding in volume allows for less material to be used for printing the same size objects compared to regular PLA, leading to cost savings on materials and more efficient production cycles.
  5. Better results: Due to the foaming and expansion technology, LW-PLA shows less visible layer lines. 
  6. More eco-friendly: Since LW-PLA uses less material, it is also more environmentally friendly compared to other filaments that require more plastic for the same volume of production.

What are the typical applications for Lightweight PLA?

PLA is perfect for applications where weight is a critical factor. 

  1. Aerospace and Automotive Components: In industries where every gram of weight savings is critical, LW-PLA has been utilized to produce parts that contribute to overall lighter assemblies, such as drone components and lightweight panels in vehicles​.
  2. Props and Cosplay: The cosplay community has embraced LW-PLA to create large, detailed, but remarkably lightweight costume elements and props that are easier to wear and handle during long events.
  3. Healthcare Devices: Lightweight PLA has also found applications in healthcare, such as creating supportive aids and prosthetics, which benefit from being both strong and light, thereby providing more comfort to the users​.
  4. Large Structures in General: Its properties also make it ideal for printing large structures efficiently due to its expanded volume capabilities.

Why should you order Lightweight PLA on Craftcloud? 

Ordering LW-PLA from Craftcloud comes with several benefits. Our platform ensures that you get your materials quickly and conveniently, with options for customization and volume discounts. Additionally, Craftcloud’s wide range of available filaments, including various colors and specifications of LW-PLA, ensures that you have the right material for any project.

We at Craftcloud are committed to providing our customers with cutting-edge materials like LW-PLA, which opens up new possibilities in lightweight, cost-effective 3D printing.

Explore the potential of LW-PLA and take your 3D printing projects to the next level on Craftcloud!