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?
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.
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.
It 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
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.
2. Remember to Remove the Filament When Not in Use
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.
When 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.
4. Use Faster Print Speed and High Layer Heights
Using 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.
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.
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
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.
What 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.
2. MG Chemicals Wood Filament
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.
3. Hatchbox Wood Filament
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.
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.
|Print Temperature||195°C-220°C||185°C – 230° C||175°C – 220°C|
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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