Wood PLA filament

Wood PLA filament

Printing with wood filament started in 2012. The first Wood PLA works made with sawdust. The first experiments showed that sawdust was not the best solution for making Wood PLA. The use of PLA as the basic material for wood filament turned out to be good.

Today, most wood filaments are still based on PLA filament. Instead of sawdust, we now mainly see wood particles in the wood filament. The choice here is becoming wider. Think for example of cedar, olive and willow wood. Depending on the manufacturer, it is best to put a high percentage of wood particles in the filament. The Easy Wood PLA filament from Formfutura contains 40% wood particles.

This makes it possible to make 3D prints that look quite real like wood. From the texture to even the smell. The objects printed with wood PLA can also be treated as real wood. You can safely sand it and finish it with different types of wood and coatings.

You can also smell the wood very well during printing. I personally don't mind the smell, it smells a bit like burning wood. But it is of course wiser to ventilate the room well and not to sit there all the time.

Formfutura, one of our regular suppliers, produces wood PLA under the name Easywood. It is available in 7 different colors and very easy to print. All in all, highly recommended if you want to get started with wood PLA.

Features of Easywood

  • 60% PLA and 40% wood
  • Available in 1.75 and 2.85mm filament.
  • Wood options; Pine, Cedar, Olive, Coconut, Willow Ebony and Birch.
  • Print temperature: 200-240°C
  • Bed temperature 0-60°C.

A few tips for printing Wood PLA

When printing with composite materials such as wood PLA, it is advisable to use a slightly larger nozzle. We recommend a minimum of 0.6mm. This reduces the chance of blockages. In addition, because of the wood particles, it is also wise to use a wear-resistant nozzle . When your print is ready, it is best to clean the nozzle well by letting a piece of filament flow through the nozzle. For example, just PLA filament.

In the beginning you will have to play around with the settings of your slicer. You run the risk that you will suffer from oozing and stringing. Below are some tips.

Don't be afraid to adjust your layer settings. Wood PLA is good at hiding the lines. So more or less layers is usually no problem.

Wood filament regains its solid shape faster than ordinary PLA. This causes a blockage in a small corner. Increasing the print speed can already prevent this.

Do you use Cura ? Then use the “combing” setting. This adjusts the nozzle movements to stay within the print. This will allow printing to take a little longer, but you will prevent “oozing” and improve the quality.

Do you use Simplify3D? There this setting is called “avoid crossing outline for travel movements”.

Post-processing.

When the printing process is complete, you can dot the i's and cross the t's. Sanding a wood PLA 3D print works almost the same as sanding a regular piece of wood. Start with a coarse sandpaper and work your way up to a finer one until your object is completely smooth.

After sanding, you can also paint the 3D print just like you are used to with wood. This way you give a unique finishing touch to your wood print.