Wood Filament Review – Best Material To Achieve Woodlike Finish

wood pla filament

Do you want to 3D print wooden objects or achieve a like wood finish? Do you want to try something new in 3D printing other than the usual ABS and PLA?

If you are ready to accept the challenge of 3D printing with a temperamental material, wood filaments can definitely push your creativity to the next level. Once you try it a few times, printing with this material can be very fun and rewarding.

Another great 3D printing material that you should try is wood filament. It is a bit challenging to work with, but once you pull it off, you will see amazing prints.

This 3D printing material requires a lot of patience and a more advanced 3D printing skills so you can use it appropriately and get terrific results.

What is Wood Filament?

📌Since 2012, printing wood filaments have been a thing. However, it remains to be an experimental material for 3D printing. This 3D printing material often consists of about 70% polymer and then 30% of different kinds of wood fibers.

Some of its qualities are comparable to that of PLA filaments such as its strength. There aren’t any formal specifications for the materials for 3D printing, especially for those that are new PLA composites. The end result of your print largely depends on the non-PLA component with which the material is made of.

There were early attempts in creating objects that resembled wood. Sawdust was added to the mix.

However, the end product looked more like cardboard. They were less tight in terms of built and they were more flexible compared to PLA.

The objects created using these materials smell like authentic wood. They also look and feel like wood.

Bamboo is a good example. The objects created with it are very sturdy. There are also variants that are made with coconut particles. This material produces prints with a distinct wood finish.

📌The prints you get using these wood filaments are salt and water-resistant. Darker finishes look very appealing. However, getting the perfect setting for heated bed can be a challenge. That’s why many opt for staining wood filament instead.

Tips To Achieve Wood Like Finish

If you want to try 3D printing with woodlike output, here are some tips to help you get started. Don’t worry if you make mistakes. It’s part of the learning curve with this material.

wood filament 3d printer wood plaIt is important that you are patient, and learn as much as you can from your mistakes so that you can improve on your techniques as you go along.

  1. Try Using  Larger Nozzle

wood filament wood pla
The first thing you will notice when you start using wood filaments is that they look as though they are a dense fiberboard. It is normal to see dark specks. That is why you should be using a larger nozzle so that the specks won’t cause any jam in your nozzle.

📌The recommended nozzle size for your wood 3D printer is 0.3mm or bigger. If you don’t like larger layering, you can always sand then away after you have finished printing your design.

2. Remember to Remove the Filament When Not in Use

📌When you have a 3D wood print project and for some reason, the printing is interrupted, don’t forget to remove the 3D print material from your printer head. If you don’t do this, the filament’s wood particles will burn, creating a sticky black mess in the printer head.

If you ever encounter this problem, you will have to clean your extruder. For this, you can check out this cleaning material from eSun. It is very affordable and is conveniently available in Amazon.

3. Temperature

wood plaWhen using this material for the first time, you may discover some cool things about this material. For example, you can produce prints with a dark burned finish if you increase the heated bed temperature. However, doing this can present some problems as well.

Most materials of this type are actually sensitive to heat. Even if it is just one degree higher than what is recommended, you may find yourself having a difficult time with it already. Your hot end can clog when the fine wood particles ignite.

📌Many do not bother finding theh right printing temperature to achieve a dark wood finish. If you really want this kind of finish, you can look for a wood stain so that you can achieve a similar effect without risking ruining your 3D printer.
Most of the wood filaments for 3D printing can be printed with temperatures ranging from 170°C to 220°C. When printing, you will notice that the layers of your print are tight. You can sand, saw, and paint your output just like real wood carvings or sculptures.

4. Use Faster Print Speed and High Layer Heights

wood 3d printing filamentUsing a faster print speed and high layer heights will keep your wood filament moving along through your hot end swiftly. This way, the wood particles in your material would have lesser chances of burning.

You may already know that printing with high layer heights produces prints that don’t look very good but you can always sand it away after you print the object.

📌You should take note that with faster printing speed, there may be an increase in z-wobble. So, you should make sure that your printer is stable before 3D printing.

5. Using Higher Retraction

When using a wood filament, you will notice that they are runnier in comparison with PLA filaments. So, with this in mind, you can imagine that when the printer head begins to move to various positions, the retractions settings that you would usually use for PLA may not work with this. It can leak from the nozzle.

This situation can result in a stringy mess, and you don’t want that. To avoid this from happening, what you can do is to increase the retraction speed as well as the distances. You can experiment with various measurements in the settings until you achieve the results you desire – an outputs that smell, look and feel like real wood.

Pros
  • Prints smell, look and feel like real wood.
  • There are several shades that can be attained depending on the print temperature.
  • Prints can be sanded and stained to the desired style.
Cons
  • May not be a good material for beginners.
  • Can be challenging to work with.
  • Has the tendency to clog the extruder because of its sensitivity to heat.

Best Wood Filament Brands

Now that we have discussed the basics of wood filaments and how you can print it to get great results, it is time to look for the best brands in the market. So, let’s get started!

1. ColorFabb Wood Filament

colorfabb wood filament

Check Here to Check Price for ColorFabb

📌 ColorFabb is one of the best brands when it comes to 3D printing filaments. It is a company based in the Netherlands and they produce world-class filaments. They offer three varieties: regular woodfill, bamboofill, and corkfill.

These three materials have varying properties. The regular woodfill has the same familiar scent of burning wood. It delivers an authentic wood finish.

You can also try staining, sanding or etching on the prints using a hot knife. Patterns can be burned into the prints. You can try and experiment with numerous techniques to get the style that you desire.

📌The bamboofill from Colorfabb is very versatile. However, it can also be tricky to work with. It is not a material that can be recommended for beginners. There are different shades that you can get out of this material by playing with the printing temperatures that you use it with.

colorfabb wood 3d filamentWhat you have to remember though is that the bamboofill is very sensitive and can burn. You may have to spend time cleaning and unclogging your extruder before you can successfully find the right temperature for printing it. But once you do, printing with bamboofill can be rewarding.

Lastly, the third variety is corkfill. It can also be a challenge to work with just like bamboofill. However, they differ with the colors they produce. Corkfill has a much darker color compared to other wood filaments. It looks good although you won’t get as many variations of shades just like bamboofill.

colorfabb wood filament

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2. MG Chemicals Wood Filament

MG wood 3d printing filament

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This brand is another reliable and high-quality producer of 3D printing filaments. Their wood filaments are composed of PLA along with about 25% particles from poplar wood. You should know that the popular wood particles can be quite big. It is best if you can print using a 0.4mm nozzle so that you won’t have any problems with clogging.

MG Chemicals wood filaments work best at 210°C. Again, you can experiment with different temperatures so you can get various shades in your prints. You just have to keep in mind not to burn up the wood completely because you will have trouble unclogging your extruder.

📌One of the best reasons to go for this brand is that it is more affordable than its competitors in Amazon.com. You can also get free shipping of your order if you purchase several spools of 3D printing filaments at the same time. You will get a great deal if you like stocking up on your filaments.

MG wood 3d printing filament

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3. Hatchbox Wood Filament

hatchbox wood filament

Check Here to Check Price for Hatchbox 

You can expect top-notch products from Hatchbox including their wood filaments. The Hatchbox wood filament has in it the standard wood infill of 20%. However, what sets it apart from the competitors is its quality control.

📌This 3D printing material is not easy to 3D print. But, Hatchbox was able to address that issue by keeping the tolerances of the material near perfect. For example, the standard for tolerance is at +/- 0.05mm. With this brand, it is at +/- 0.01 mm from the diameter that is expected. With this feature, the chances of getting clogs will be reduced.

As for the price, Hatchbox wood filaments are about the same price as PLA filaments. It is easily available at Amazon.com and you get to have your order shipped for free if you purchase more than one.


Specification Colorfabb MG Chemicals Hatchbox
Star Rating 5 4 3
Price $49.99 $31.45 34.99
Print Temperature 195°C-220°C 185°C – 230° C 175°C – 220°C

 

hatchbox wood filament

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Conclusion

Wood filaments may be challenging to use compared to other 3D printing materials. You have to find the right temperature that will work best for the design you want and this might take time. However, when you do get it right, 3D printing with this material can be very fun and rewarding.

Have you tried using this type of filament for 3D printing? How was your experience? Do share your thoughts in the comments!

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