PLA (im)practicalities for this brief


PLA is difficult to cut and fold. It tends to crack when you cut it, (quite brittle) and doesn’t fold well. Its well suited to vacuum forming and injection moulding, but not folding.

 This is going to cause me problems with my idea of assembling a fruit bowl from clip out pieces that slot together or fit together with tabs. I might have to go 2D and do the puzzle idea (sorry Nick – you can mark me down, but I’m running out of time and its still the idea I like best), or change material (which I am loathe to do after all the effort I have gone to in obtaining it, waiting for it to arrive, constantly hassling the company to deliver it, waiting some more, waiting, waiting…)

Anyhow, I guess I have still accomplished my personal objective for this project of doing the messiah bit and spreading the word about bioplastics. Natureworks PLA is just ONE option, and its not perfect. But there are a large range of other formulations available that have different properties (are pliable, heatproof – even microwaveable etc.) but I can’t get hold of them in NZ.

All good things in time. I do still think that’s it where the future is at. (And that thought is supported very strongly by the bioplastics patent application history and current adoption by large retailers.)


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