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Resistant PLA with active foaming technology for low density and light prints.

Recreus, a company dedicated to the development, manufacture and distribution of filaments for 3D printing FDM, was established in 2013 in Spain. All Recreus filaments are characterized by impeccable quality thanks to the company’s automated production lines, exhaustive quality control and numerous tests on various 3D printers. Recreus mostly specializes in elastic materials but their newest release is the PLA LW.

The origins of PLA date back to the 1930s but it wasn’t until the 1980s that PLA was actually produced. Nowadays PLA (polylactic acid) is one of the most popular 3D printing materials. It is a semicrystalline thermoplastic polymer and it is biodegradable (under the proper aerobic conditions, such as industrial composting). PLA is obtained from 100 % renewable resources such as corn starch, tapioca roots, sugar beet, sugar cane or wheat. PLA is made by separating the starch from its source, mixing it with acid or lactic monomers to obtain dextrose. The dextrose is then fermented and the result is L-lactic acid - the basic component of PLA.

As far as 3D printing is concerned, PLA is very easy to print, so much so that it is often recommended to beginners. It usually doesn’t require a printing bed or a heated chamber, and it can be 3D printed at low temperatures.

Lightweight 3D prints

The Recreus PLA LW, manufactured in Europe, is a filament perfect for quick prototyping and the 3D printing of light low density final pieces. Compared to conventional PLA, the weight of pieces 3D printed with the Recreus PLA LW is reduced by up to 50 %. The reduced weight of the pieces is achieved through the technology of active foaming, which reduces the flow of the extruded filament by 50 - 60 %, thus reducing the weight of the 3D printed part while maintaining the same line width.

Video 1: The Recreus PLA LW filament. Source: Recreus.

Furthermore, the active foaming technology allows for the layers to blend, which helps achieve a smoother and more uniform matte surface finish. Another benefit of the active foaming technology is that the reduced flow of the filament lets the user 3D print up to 2 - 3 times more parts with a spool of PLA LW than with a spool of conventional PLA.

Plane model with PLA LW
Image 1: A plane model 3D printed with the PLA LW. Source: Recreus.

The Recreus PLA LW is perfect for 3D printing fully functional air models and RC airplanes (radio controlled), as the parts will have a reduced wing load, reduced weight, and low density while remaining resistant and high performance. Another possible application of the PLA LW filament is in the making of cosplay costumes, thanks to the reduced weight and smooth finish.

It must be kept in mind that due to the effect of foaming, the PLA LW produces many threads during movement. These can be easily eliminated and sanded down, for example with the help of the Proto Pasta polish kit.

Although the build plate does not need to be hot for 3D printing with PLA, it is recommended that it is at a temperature of approximately 0 - 40 °C to ensure good adhesion of the PLA LW. Recreus also recommends an extrusion temperature of between 240 - 260 °C and a printing speed of 20 - 40 mm/s. Printing the PLA LW filament at temperatures higher than 260 ºC will lead to the degradation of the PTFE tubes. The recommended layer height is 0.25 - 0.35 mm and the optimal retraction speed recommended by Recreus is 40 - 60 mm/s, at a distance of 2 - 3 mm. The recommended layer fan speed is 0 - 20 % but the manufacturer suggests 0 % for better adhesion. The recommended flow parameter is 40 - 60 %.

For further instructions on the configuration of the printing parameters, please consult the documents in the Downloads section

As far as adhesion to the build plate is concerned, the successful adhesion of the first layer of material to the printing base is critical for good results. It is recommended to use adhesion accessories, such as the Ziflex or BuildTak build platforms, the Magigoo stick or 3Dlac to provide optimal adhesion throughout the process and avoid warping.

General information
Manufacturer Recreus
Material PLA LW
Format Spool of 750 g or 3 kg
Density -
Diameter of filament 1.75mm 
Diameter tolerance -
Filament length -
Color Black or Natural
RAL/Pantone -
Print settings
Printing temperature 240-260°C
Print bed temperature 60 ºC
Chamber temperature -
Cooling fan 0-20% (0% recommended for better adhesion)
Mechanical properties
Izod impact strength (ASTM D256) -
Charpy impact strength -
Elongation at break 
Tensile strength (ASTM D638) -
Tensile Modulus (ISO 6721) -
Flexural strength (ISO 178) -
Flexural modulus -
Surface hardness (ISO 2019-1) -
Thermal properties
Softening temperature (ISO 75)
Melting temperature -
Specific properties
Transparency -
Additional Information
HS Code 3916.9
Diameter coil (outer) -
Diameter coil (inner hole) -
Coil Width -

* The typical values detailed in this table should be considered as a reference. Actual values may vary depending on the 3D printer model used, part design and printing conditions. We recommend confirming the results and final properties with own tests. For more information you should consult the technical data sheet of the product.


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