I wanted to try printing a wood filament and picked up a roll of Easywood Pine from FormFutura. Wood filaments are a mixture of PLA and wood fibers or particles. I tried printing a few test objects, and from a printing perspective it prints very similar to normal PLA.
Due to the fibers in the filament I’d suggest a 0.6mm nozzle (or larger) to reduce the chance of clogging. And I also went with a steel nozzle from micro-swiss since the wood in the filament can be a bit abrasive and wanted a more durable nozzle.
Realistically, we are just printing plastic with wood fibers in it, nothing we print will ever be confused with real wood. That being said, it does have wood like characteristics, the surface and smell do have a slightly wood like quality to them. If I had to compare it to something, I’d say it reminds me most of thick rough cardboard.
As far as print accuracy goes, It faired pretty well. some details were lost (most obvious in the last photo of this post), but that was to be expected both printing with a rough material and printing with a larger nozzle.
Viewed from the back we can see the underside of the bridging on the bottom right. The card was printed on a flat metal surface, the filament adheres very well to the build plate. I also tried out different build surfaces, even a rough one in the hopes it looked more wood-like. But the rougher surfaces all turned out shiny and looking very fake due to the plasticky rough surface.
I printed the same card with ironing enabled on the top layer. The results were not good at all. The ironed parts are very uneven and the wood feeling of the surface is pretty much gone, the surface is non-uniformly rough, but not in a good way. It feels as if too much heat is transferred into the printed object and the plastic becomes very dominant. Having the filament heated up but flowing slowly through the nozzle can also “burn” the wood fibers and/or increase the chance of clogging.
There are probably situations where (localized) ironing my have beneficial results, but It’s not something I suggest having on by default.
A final photo with a direct comparison between a 0.4mm nozzle printed PLA+ filament and the 0.6mm nozzle printed wood filament.
It’s not a filament I’d use every day, but I’m happy to have it here, and have a few ideas I’d like to try out with this filament.