Wood 3D printing was born around 2012. The first filaments were PLA-based filaments with integrated sawdust. The early experiments, however, showed that sawdust wasn’t the best solution for either wood 3D printing nor wood filaments.
These days, wood filament is still PLA-based, but the wood is instead integrated in the form of wooden fibers. Many different types of wood have emerged, as well! You can now choose between birch, coconut, bamboo, timber, cedar, and many others. Typically, wood filaments contain 70% PLA and 30% wooden fibers, but it all really depends on the filament manufacturer.
Despite this seemingly low fraction of wood, we guarantee you’ll be impressed with just how wood-like the resulting prints feel. From texture to smell, everything feels very real. This means wood 3D printed parts can be treated as real wood. In other words, it’s safe to sand the parts and apply different paints and coatings.
One thing to keep in mind that you might not be aware of is the smell of melting wood filaments. During printing, it basically smells like burning wood. So be sure to have proper ventilation and to stay out of the room during the whole print. You don’t want to breathe in the fumes!
In the following paragraphs, we present some of the best and most popular wood 3D printing filaments.
The Fillamentum Timberfill is PLA-based, 100% biodegradable wood filament. Timberfill offers excellent surface finish, making the parts really look like they’re carved out of wood.
Besides great mechanical properties for a wood filament, Timberfill also does a pretty decent job of hiding the layers. It comes in four different colors, which enables the top-notch look of final printed parts.
Arguably one of the most exclusive FDM filament manufacturers is the Dutch firm ColorFabb. ColorFabb’s filaments are amongst the most expensive on the market, but they’re certainly worth it. As you’d expect from a premium filament, the surface finish of the final parts is stunning. The filaments smell nice and are relatively easy to print with.
If you have a large enough budget, we highly recommend you try these phenomenal filaments.
A reasonable price and a large selection of colors make this filament a rather alluring choice for your venture into 3D printing wood.
Filamentive is a pioneer in recyclable filaments, offering a wide range of recyclable filaments. At the moment, the company offers two different colors of wood filament. Since the company’s philosophy is all about the importance of recycled materials, the filament comes on a cardboard spool inside a cardboard box, all of which can be recycled!
Looking at the reviews of the Filamentive wood filaments reveals very positive customer feedback. Lots of people seem to compliment this filament for it printing like butter, which essentially means it’s a pleasant experience to use this filament.
Hatchbox is quite a popular name in the filament world, so it’s not a surprise that the company is competing for a piece of the cake in the wood filament market. What’s great about Hatchbox’s wood filament is that it can be easily sanded, and it doesn’t necessarily require a heated bed to print with it. Smells nice, prints nice, looks nice, all for a reasonable price. What more could you ask for?
Feature image source: 3DWithUs
License: The text of "Wood Filament (3D Printing) – Explained & Compared" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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