Introduction: 3D Printed Wood Experiment

We had the occasion to work at protospace in Utrecht to work with different filaments for 3D printers. Because the machines were only used for experimentation, We could change the settings and hack the machine as we wanted to, in order to get different results.

Step 1: First Settings: Heating

We used a ultimaker 3D printer for these test.

Depending on the material you choose, you will have to reach different temperature to optimize the extrusion of the filament. Here we worked with a wood filament (70% PLA, 30% wood). The nozzle needs to be pretty large because of the wood fibers contained in the filament that can obstruct the nozzle if not big enough.

Step 2: First Tryout

We got the fil of a basic bracelet. This was the very first test that came out from the printing. The speed combined to the layer height were not on the same level to have something homogenous. So we tried different settings during the printing, . IMPORTANT: if you stop the printing and try to find a solution, you may encounter difficulties to see where is the problem. If it is still printing you can more quickly see if it is fixed.

Step 3: Second Tryout

This test was a bit better but it had a fragile zone in the middle because It took us a bit of time to fix the problem (the speed of the printing and the density of the filament that comes out from the nozzle). Unfortunately it broke after a small shock.

Step 4: Last Tryout

This one is the final prototype. We finally managed to find the perfect settings combined together to obtain a very nice result. We also learned that with the wood filament you can change the temperature to more or less burn the wood have different shades. (It is getting darker when hotter).

Then you have to take it appart from the platform. You can have an ugly aspect on the edges while manipulating it. You can still easily sand it and fix all the small mistakes on it since it is wood.