I have been looking around for some powder for use for laser sintering. I was wondering if anyone had experimented with PLA powder.
During my search I discovered that it is used in hand cleansers and make up products to provide an abrasive "scrub" to remove dirt. There are also other powders available such as a PLA wax mix that may be of interest to us reprappers.
I thought that this might be an avenue to explore as there are many "Cottage industry" cosmetics companies that must purchase this stuff in small quantities.
I hope to add the ability to sinter polymer powders to the powderbed printer after first using cold processes, so it would be really valuable to get sources for the powders, maybe a wiki page for links etc
... one of my local companies ships PLA-granules - i should ask, if they have it as powder too ...
Until now i have some other powders from this company: PMMA (fresh after grinding, i have to screen it), PE, ABS(?) and some thermoplastic pigments that will melt to solid too.
From another company i've got lignin-powder, what's an organic thermoplast, extracted from wood ... it's brown in colour, so should work good with IR-lasers, which have problems with white or clear materials (so i have to mix them with pigments for laser-sintering).
From what i can tell, PLA practically only exists as a material for disposable silverware and as a 3D printer material, and also BB pellets. These are super niche uses with the somewhat weak justification that they biodegrade ("faster" than other plastics = 100s of years underground still). AS far as plastics go, its pretty weak, and low temp, compared to most plastics, except PVC, PS, and LDPE...which are many times cheaper.
If it was really useful or available, you would see sheets of it on sale at mcmaster. so I doubt you will find a powder pla any time soon, unless you can think of an application, like I heard ABS being used in powder coating or laser printers.