3d printer filament made of wood

Believe it or not, you can now squeeze wood through the nozzle of your 3D printer.

This new addition to the maker’s palette of 3D printer filaments comes from the mind of [Kai Parthy]. The new filament – going by the name Laywood – is a mix of recycled wood fibers and polymer binders that can be melted and extruded just like any other 3D printer filament.

Parts printed with Laywood have about the same properties as parts printed with PLA filament. One interesting feature of this material is the ability to add ‘tree rings,’ or a subtle gradation in color from a rich brown to a very nice beige. The color can be changed on the fly by setting the temperature of your printer’s hot end to 180° C for a light color, and 230° C for a darker color.

Judging from the ‘in action’ video of Laywood filament being pushed through a printer, the new wood-based filament works just the same as any other PLA or ABS plastic.

Outside eBay, there appears to be only one place to buy this filament. It’s not cheap at about €16/$20 USD per half kilogram, but hopefully that price will come down when it becomes more popular.

Video after the break.

Comments

  1. crenn says:

    Interesting product, I wonder how strong it is.

  2. Andrew says:

    3D printing continually amazes me even though I’ve experienced the real thing over and over. Every day a new experiment comes to life which might change the world of manufacturing. I will be following this idea closely!!!

    Andrew
    http://www.youtube.com/user/andrewupandabout/videos

  3. radicalbiscuit says:

    Somewhat related: I really enjoy the “song” this thing is playing.

  4. Ren says:

    Now we can make accessories to match our Trex decking!

  5. erksome says:

    Interesting that we have come full circle — rayon was one of the first “synthetic” fibers (early 1900’s) that was basically just digested cellulose from wood pulp that was then spun out into fibers. You gotta like a natural polymer!

  6. Anon says:

    Is this stuff biodegradable?

  7. daid303 says:

    While not exactly this filament, I saw wood print at the KamerMaker project last sunday. http://kamermaker.nl/

    Really nice, as it also smells like wood. And doesn’t have shrinkage.

    I also got a chance to talk to Andrew from faberdashery. I don’t know if they will do wood filament. But there are ideas for conducting filament, and I placed the idea in his head for magnetic filament.

  8. polossatik says:

    nice, but 5 min of wieieie wieieie wieieie is a bit to much :)

  9. james says:

    I would like to see someone reinvent LOM – a rapid prototype built up from layers of paper. I used it back in the 90s and it made tough models that looked really cool – layers of paper end up looking and feeling like wood. I quit using it in favor of SLA but the parts were smaller and more fragile and just didn’t look as cool.

  10. JB says:

    Mmm… this is nice. I hope I can see a multi-material printer priced for the masses in my lifetime.

    Having the choice to print in different materials is always good. :D

  11. xorpunk says:

    Make it environmentally friendly(organic bonding agent) and the science and manufacturing communities will be all over it..

  12. Chris C. says:

    Neat, especially the color changing part.

    I wonder if it can be finished like wood. Can you sand it smooth? If stained, is the result pleasing? Will oil or water based polyurethane adhere well to it?

  13. malvineous says:

    The colour changing part is really interesting. I wonder whether you could get a temperature sensitive dye for PLA or ABS, to allow multicolour prints by just altering the temperature during the print? Seems a lot simpler than having multiple print heads, but I guess the temperature range would have to be pretty narrow so it didn’t affect the plastic itself too much.

  14. Nato says:

    I only have one question, one answer to which I’d be VERY excited about:

    CAN YOU CLEANLY BURN THE RESULT?!!

  15. Morbo says:

    I’d love to see a msds.

    Also to know if it’s biodegradable…if it’s not, it sitll hasn’t got anything on pla.

  16. Bill Gander says:

    Rayon?

    • erksome says:

      Well, OK, this stuff ain’t Rayon (“manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber” — basically digested wood and the “viscose solution is extruded through a spinneret”) but I was reminded of Rayon with this new “melted” wood fiber that is extruded… I took liberty to free associate. But it’s got me thinking again about chemistry again — always a good thing!

  17. Facelift says:

    “Mark” :) da kommt man sich direkt alt vor ….

  18. salec says:

    3D printers were usually used to create prototypes and moulds, therefore mechanical properties of the material were of secondary importance. It seems that only the hobbyists and hackers/makers use 3D printers for actual one-off production of working parts. That’s why for them it is important to have wide spectrum of choices regarding materials.

    What if the filament had an unbroken string of silk, Kevlar, glass fiber, metal wire or even carbon fiber embedded in it?

    What if printhead was designed in such a way that it allowed non-melting thread insertion through port separate from basic material filament port, to let you experiment combining various fibers with various thermoplastics into novel laminates?

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