Printing A Log

We’ve used wood filament before, and we hazily remember a Cura plugin that changed temperatures to create wood grain. But unlike [Patrick Gibney], we never thought of printing a faux wood log coaster that looks like it has rings. Check out the video below to see how it works.

The filament is not really wood, of course, but a polymer — usually PLA — mixed with wood particles. Changing the temperature does a nice job of darkening the wood. However, it also changes the properties of the carrier polymer, and that’s not always a good thing.

[Patrick] is manually adjusting the temperature and only using the wood filament for a layer or two, which is smart — there’s no reason to have wood-grained patterns inside your print. There have been scripts for this technique, although some are too outdated to work with modern slicers.

While we aren’t a fan of printing the dark areas at nearly 300C, it seems to work, and the rough appearance helps in this particular case.

Another option is to print using sawdust. There are plenty of exotic filament options out there. Wood is only the tip of the… tree?

16 thoughts on “Printing A Log

    1. It’d still have round center unless someone put the sapling in a square mold and adjust it every few months to accommodate tree grown to keep it squared. I doubt there can be truly square wood cut like the printed wood.

      1. It could be sandwiched between four pressurised airbags, so that in cross section the plant is always occupying a rectangular Voronoi cell as it grows.

        I donโ€™t know if new branches would bud off in that situation, or what would happen if they did; I guess it would depend on the plant anyway.

    2. there is a square forest,seedlings are painted with
      four stripes of growth hormone and after a number of years repeated application become square,and thereafter will continue to grow square
      also in japan a radical steam and press rolling mill
      can just square them up the hard way
      both methods are not fully comercialised due too costs

  1. Yes, but does it roll down stairs, alone or in pairs? Does it still roll over your neighbor’s dog? Is it still great for a snack, while fitting on your back? It is, after all, log.

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