We Are Learning 3D Printing Through Our Personal Experience…
The Orbi-Tech Laywoo-d3 is an interesting 3D filament that allows you to print models that look and feel like they are made from real wood. The LayWoo-d3 is an experimental filament that is made from recycled wood combined with a special polymer to make the wood printable (40% recycled wood and 60% binding polymer). This allows the 3D printed part to get the look and feel of actual wood, even though it is printed on a 3D printer, and you can even get different coloring by varying the temperature at which the material is being printed. As with different temperature the wood particles in the filament get “burned” more and can become darker with higher extruding temperature, however you should be careful not to get the printing head jammed. Also the material is pretty expensive compared to standard types of filament such as PLA or ABS, but when properly printed the result can be totally worth it. We have ordered a short sample of the Orbi-Tech LayWoo-d3 3D printer filament to try it out and below you can find our initial impressions and tests from the material.
Orbi-Tech’s LayWoo-d3 3D printer filament is designed to be printed on printers that are capable of working with normal PLA filaments – there is no need for a heated build platform, so this means wide compatibility. The recommended extrusion temperature by the manufacturer for the filament is ~175° C (bright) and ~250° C (dark), and by increasing the temperature you should be getting a darker looking wood in the resulting print. You can even play with temperature of the various layers to create interesting effects similar to actual wood like annual rings for example, tough that will require some extra effort on the software side when preparing your 3D models to be printed. There is a useful web-based tool to help you create this wood layers effect for your existing models, you need to upload your gcode model and it will modify it based on the parameters you want and give you the new file to use with your 3D printer.
The LayWoo-d3 3D printer filament should be handled more careful when you load it and unload it to the printing head as it is easier to break than standard PLA for example. When you have a 3D print using this material however you will notice that it seems to be quite flexible, especially if it is not slid inside – for more wood like behavior you should print with more infill and you can even have the objects printed with solid inside or make them more durable. While we were experimenting with the filament on our Makerbot Replicator 2 printer we have managed to get the LayWoo-d3 filament stay for longer time in the extruder and that has caused it to jam, so we had to clean it up and what came out was black totally burned wood. So we can recommend to be careful when printing with this filament and to purge it with regular PLA for example when you are done printing in order to avoid the possibility of the filament burning up inside and jamming the printer.
We have tried printing the same 3D object – a simple small house like the one for the Monopoly game, using different temperatures as per the manufacturer’s recommendations and we’ve had mixed results, so we even checked what other people recommend for when using the LayWoo-d3. In the end we can say that different printers and users seem to have varying experience using this filament, so it is bets to try and see what works best for you. We used the Standard 0.2 mm layer height and 60 mm/s speed while extruding on the Replicator 2 for the tests and with higher temperatures such as 230 or 250 degrees Celsius we’ve got darker looking prints, but the layers did not print very well and consistently, going for 200 degrees and lower down to 160 the results were much better, even though we were only getting lighter shades for the wood. Interestingly enough the lower temperature has made the printed 3D objects to look more seamless and the layers that were used for their printing to be harder to see, with higher temperatures the layers were more pronounced and easier to sot. Again, you should test and see how the filament works best for you – at what temperature and what extrusion speed etc.