Unconfined scaled laboratory experiments show that 3D structures control the behavior of dilute pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) during and after liftoff. Experiments comprise heated and ambient temperature 20 mu m talc powder turbulently suspended in air to form density currents within an unobstructed 8.5x6x2.6-m chamber. Comparisons of Richardson, thermal Richardson, Froude, Stokes, and settling numbers and buoyant thermal to kinetic energy densities show good agreement between experimental currents and dilute PDCs. The experimental Reynolds numbers are lower than those of PDCs, but the experiments are fully turbulent; thus, the large-scale dynamics are similar between the two systems. High-frequency, simultaneous observation in three orthogonal planes shows that the currents behave very differently than previous 2D (i.e., confined) currents. Specifically, whereas ambient temperature currents show radial dispersal patterns, buoyancy reversal, and liftoff of heated currents focuses dispersal along narrow axes beneath the rising plumes. The aspect ratios, defined as the current length divided by a characteristic width, are typically 2.5-3.5 in heated currents and 1.5-2.5 in ambient temperature currents, reflecting differences in dispersal between the two types of currents. Mechanisms of air entrainment differ greatly between the two currents: entrainment occurs primarily behind the heads and through the upper margins of ambient temperature currents, but heated currents entrain air through their lateral margins. That lateral entrainment is much more efficient than the vertical entrainment, >0.5 compared to similar to 0.1, where entrainment is defined as the ratio of cross-stream to streamwise velocity. These experiments suggest that generation of coignimbrite plumes should focus PDCs along narrow transport axes, resulting in elongate rather than radial deposits.