This looks like a promising source for the Europeans here.

This looks like a promising source for the Europeans here.

Hey Andrew, have you been printing with wood filament? I’m really curious!

A little with the stuff I got from Voxel Factory. It oozes differently from other materials, but otherwise prints in a Replicator 1 (with extruder upgrade) with PLA-like settings.

I get real curious at the opportunities and possibilities of new innovative materials…

However, I’m not sure how innovative some of these material alternatives truly are? It seems a tiny particle of just about anything will due, as long as a proper ratio of (a melt-able/mold-able) “binder” is included. Almost as if the “alternative” material is simply becoming the pigment and a bit of bulk for what is essentially extruded binder. The binder becomes the true key ingredient, and in essence provides the properties necessary for the build process to be successful. Right?

It seems the key is to pulverize the new materials being combined with the binder to the point that it’s origins have as little impact on the results as possible. With this in mind you could layer & bake up some carbon fiber, pulverize it into dust, mix it with some binder, melt that into the right diameter, spool it up, and sell it as “carbon fiber filament”. However, it wouldn’t look like carbon fiber, act like carbon fiber, or really any longer serve in any way as carbon fiber, other than it would be black; and some of the volume of the filament would be comprised of the powdered remains of a once useful material.

(And in the case of this “wood” filament, it isn’t really the wood particles alone which allow you to be able, “After printing you can cut, grind and paint your creations similar as you can do with wooden objects.” After all, this is really true of any 3D printed final product, if it was printed with a source of rigid material.)

With this in mind it seems best to stick with materials which inherently require as little “binder” as possible in order to provide a cohesive end result. In other words, substances which by their very nature offer the properties (melting temps, rigidity, translucency, etc.) to serve viably in the 3D Printing process. I know it is funny to say anything as artificial as “plastic” would offer a “natural” property; but the point is, this resources has natural properties which serve the application, and we throw tons of it away every day!

Therefore, it seems it would always serve as a “best practice” in filament development to utilize readily available, recycled materials, which would otherwise have a rather useless application in any other markets. (Such as avoiding the utilization of something which could instead be burned as a non-toxic fuel; or any material which has natural aesthetic and structural values or strengths outside of being turned to powder.)

What are your thoughts?

They also have Taluman Nylon filament. 20€ shipping for 250g of laywood was a bit stiff …

All the Laywood sources seem to charge a lot for shipping. I would really like to try some but 15Euros for shipping that’s not going to happen. Anybody from the UK selling this?