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Introducing our Newest Material: PLA – Our Maker’s material of choice for testing their product ideas!

by • May 2, 2016 • No Comments

Say hello to our newest 3D printed material family, PLA.


PLA, or Polylactic Acid is a common bioplastic and one of the many talked of materials turn it intoers use to prototype in FDM printing devices. PLA is environmentally friendly, inexpensive and most of all swift, bringing 2 days to ship in the USA. For those appearing for a swift turnaround time so they can iterate their creations, PLA is a excellent way to go. PLA comes in the next colors: Black, Orange (we were born in the Netherlands you understand
), White and Grey.

One of our favourite Shapeways shop owners, Susan Tiang of Bhold has been via PLA printed of Ultimanufacturer machines for years. Susan utilizes the speed of these machines to rapid prototype her creations and gather feedback on how she can manufacture changes and improvements.

Check out a few of the early prototypes that
lead to her attractive products on the market here.


Given that
you’ve utilized
PLA to iterate your creations for Bhold for years, can you share a little of your iterative system

Okay, Bhold‘s iterative turn it into system
is a combination of rapid prototyping with physical beta testing that
assures the many thoughtful turn it into. Products go through anywhere between 35 to a fewtimes over 100 versions preceding they are deemed eager for release. Each product is inspired by and solves a problem in our day to day

material-hub-pla (1)

Our aim is to store the end consumer in mind throughout the entire turn it into system
and turn it into for maximum functionality and in addition
the most aesthetics. The formalization of this system
is our tester program Bhold Labs, the initially program of its kind in both rigor and scale.

Why is it significant to iterate your creations?

The reason behind the speed in prototyping is to maximize the number of exploratory concepts we can test, and with the broad base of feedback through Bhold Labs testers, we can get the many ease of use data with the quite least amount of bias. It is a quite data-driven way to turn it into, but it’s the way I’ve discovered that
works most to maximize impact by turn it intoing the most product for a given problem. If you are
going to invest your time and energy into such a highly engaged project as creating a product, why not do it the most way possible?

promo-pla (1)

What manufactures FDM machines with PLA such a useful material for you iterate?

PLA is a super effortless material to work with. It has a lower melting point than almany anything else you can 3D print with, so it saves both energy and time. It is in addition
completely non-toxic for the reason
it’s turn it intod
of corn starch, that I love for the reason
I’m handling and working closely with it equite day of a turn it into cycle.

Much of your experience can have to do with the machines you use of course, that is why going through Shapeways for your PLA prints can save you the time and energy of managing and fixing machines.

What did you learn of every iteration?

Sometimes my assumptions are wrong, and the just way to understand
is to find out through testing. My favourite “learnings” are those that
are somehow much accidental and completely spontaneous and unexpected. For example, to turn it into a sturdier stand, we lifted up the outer rim of the prototypes for the Bheard Sound Pod acoustic speaker, but this in fact
had the extra benefit of improving sound high end. To me it’s addictive to turn it into for the reason
you don’t stop learning in the system
. Glad that
you guys are launching PLA to enable extra
turn it intoers to experience this as well!

Want extra
details…here is how it is turn it intod
and an interview with our product manager sharing why we love PLA here at Shapeways.

PLA 3D prints come of machines in a system
called Futilized
Deposition Modeling (FDM) or Futilized
Filament Fabrication (FFF). The machine extrudes hot filament onto a bed, assembling
up the form layer by layer. Because of the way the material is extruded, overhanging showcases
may require
to be assisted by extra
assist structures. These types of printing devices are common of schools and manufacturerlabs to turn it into companies and we are excited to be providing access to this system
now to equiteone.

And once you have finished testing your thought in PLA, you can print it in one of 56 other materials here at Shapeways for a finished, pro appear to truly show off your incredible

shapeways materials

Have inquiries
? Ideas? Please share them with us in the comments at a lower place. You can in addition
follow Susan’s Shapeways shop here.

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