Wood PLA is an exciting filament that has actual grains of wood within. The surface print will be textured and not smooth. It can be sanded back to give it a shinier finish however much of the appeal to this filament is the rough finish. Printing this filament also gives a woody scent, so this is normal.
Our Wood PLA colour is designed to be a medium colour brown quite like the appearance of a rich mocha coffee. Printing at different temperatures can slightly change the colour of the filament. Printing at high temperatures tends to darken it slightly.
In addition to printing “Groots”, many use this filament to print;
- Pens (shell)
- Decorative jewellery, broaches, earrings etc.
- Faux wood objects
- Musical instruments. Please note that you will not be able to produce a Stradivarius finish.
- Cosplay weaponry
- Door Stops
- Bookshelf ends
- Page markers
- Decorative Bowls
This filament still retains the same strength as PLA however slightly less rigid. It is also slightly more abrasive to a brass nozzle than the regular PLA.
The filament weighs about 10% less than regular PLA for the same length, which means you get an extra 10% in length for the same 1kg roll. :-) That’s always a nice thing.
An important note about Wood Filaments is that longer exposure to heat in the extruder/hot end tends to decompose the filament. Clogging of the hot end is actually a very common issue for those new to printing in Wood. The key is to extrude the filament just at the point of melting perfectly. Clogging occurs in 2 instances. The first instance is where the filament is inside the hot end for too long. The second instance is when the hot end is not sufficiently hot enough to properly melt the filament, stalling the end temporarily and then backing the rest up and clogging the rest in the hot end.
Here are some tips and pointers we recommend when printing with our Wood PLA;
- Best to print it a little faster than you normally would with PLA. Printing at say 55-70mm/sec can be quite useful to avoid decomposition. Some print at 80mm/sec as well with great results.
- Printing profile ranges are like those of PLA for your printer, however, they will not necessarily be the same as your usual profiles. Attention should be given to Speed, Flow and Heat.
- Sometimes using a larger size nozzle such as 0.6mm or 0.8mm is recommended. There are many online tutorials including those from Maker’s Muse on YouTube that recommend this as standard.
- Stringing can also be a consideration for refinement. Adjusting retraction settings are typically the best way to minimise this effect. A great way to solve any stringing issues is to download a retraction test model from Thingiverse.com website. Retraction settings for your usual PLA prints may not work in the same way as they will for Wood.
- Adhesion to the print surface is not a common issue for Wood PLA filaments. If you are having troubles, printing on a 50-70 degree will greatly help. In addition to this printing on Blue Painter’s tape will also help. It is always important to lay the tape without any overlaps. Allowing for small gaps is much better than introducing any overlap which will potentially knock the hot end. In some instances, we have witnessed that overlapping the tape can also cause clogging at the hot end.
- A raft is not necessary however if you must, then make sure you are not printing the raft too fast.
- Great filament but takes some tuning Review by Antony
I recently purchased this and had a lot of issues with my initial prints. Going back to basics and working through temp towers and retraction towers I finally got some setting that worked well for me. The big key was getting the retraction right. My standard retraction (bowden tube) of 10mm at 50mm/s caused way too many jams. I did get good at cleaning them. I do 6mm @ 40mm/s with this and it prints well. I also, initially, printed too hot but 215 seems the sweet spot on my printer. (Posted on 5/08/2019)
- Finicky Review by Lachlan
Hi Lachlan, we're so sorry you're having a bad experience. When printing at a higher speed I'd increase the temp to be honest, lowering it will only produce a clog. The reason it's clogging up is that you're pushing out the filament before it has properly melted and then it's reaching a point when it stops extruding and backs up. Don't give up, try a higher temp like 220 and let us know how you go.
I recently purchased this but have been unable to produce any results. Starting at speed 60 and temp 200 and instructed lead to horrible clogging in the nozzle. I tried even faster speeds, lower and higher temperatures and still quickly produces clogging.
At this point, I feel I have gone well above what a novice is expected to do and have been unable to make this work. Even if I can find settings that work the fact that the suggested settings were such a failure is not impressive.
A shame as I have been overall very impressed with the company's plastics well as their cost and shipping times. (Posted on 16/02/2019)
- This is the best wood filament I have ever purchased Review by Greg
Hi guys, a big thank you for your wonderful WOOD PLA. It is an awesome product, I have tried a number of different versions of this product and yours is the absolute best. Well done.
The colour is great (it actually looks like wood not plastic with wood additive), there are no problems with it sticking to the bed and it’s just damn easy to create a great wooden model with.
Postproduction is easy to, I just send it with some to 200 grit to take out any lines then give it a going over with 400 grit wet and dry (wet) to get a soapy smooth finish. Once again well done, keep up the great work, I’m glad to have found an Australian supplier who also delivers so quickly, awesome!
(Posted on 14/07/2018)