This article is part of our Learn.colorFabb section
With our brand new lightweight PLA, LW-PLA, we offer a filament which is ideally suited for prints where weight matters. Drone enthusiasts have embraced 3D printing a long time ago. Replacement parts and customisation are easier than ever when reparing or enhancing ones drone. However, weight is always an issue with drones and with LW-PLA we offer a solution to reduce this with up to 65%!
Design by TheShortCrayon / link
We have printed the 82mm ducted brushless frame by TheShortCrayon for the 82mm Inductrix-style Brushless Quad with both PLA Economy and LW-PLA as a comparison. PLA Economy was printed with standard PLA settings. For the LW-PLA we use the following settings:
- 0.2mm layer height
- 245C nozzle temperature
- 50C bed temperature
- Printed with 38% flow
As you can see one reduces the weight significantly from 31 to 12 grams for this printed part!
Learn how to print with LW-PLA in our handy tutorial!
Micro FPV drones are all about power and performance. Reducing weight increases flight time and overall performance, which is why LW-PLA is an ideal candidate as a go-to filament.
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 light weight parts, or use the expanding properties to effectively reduce print time by using big layer heights or single extra thick perimeters.
Decreasing flow means using less filament. Therefore users 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.
“We need challenging materials, we need to work with or find ways around the limitations and allow more people to experiment with exciting developments like this foaming PLA.” – Richard Horne, aka RichRap3D
Read Richard’s review of LW-PLA here.