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The usage of woodfill PLA

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Hello everyone,


I got a question about the usage of woodfill PLA. Last week we finished a scaled model of an old church. Our client asked for a more 'natural' look of colors. 

So we decided to use 3 different woodfill PLA's (see images).


What we noticed right away was the difficult usage of the woodfill, most of the times it would either over or underextrude while also taking a fair amount of time to print.

We used a 0.8 nozzle (0.4 would clog), .2mm layer height, thick walls (3 layers) and a printspeed of 60mm/s. 

Does anyone have any experience printing scaled models using this type of PLA and can share their Cura settings? Since our business is growing im making standard cura setting profiles for all the different printing materials:)


Thanks in advance!





Edited by Florisvh

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I have no experience with woodfilled filament. But if it is the matte finish of the models you are looking for, maybe you could find unfilled PLA that produces such a matte surface texture, instead of glossy? That would be much easier to print than any filled filaments, print faster, and probably be cheaper too. Some time ago I saw promo for a new matte filament, unfilled, but I don't remember the brand.


Also, colorFabb can now deliver custom colors, and it already has a lot of soft sand and stone colors available from previous custom orders and formulations.


Spray painting with a rough texture also could be an option. This might go faster than printing with filled filament.


If you have lots of identical models, like the tiny houses, then you could also design and print one mould in PLA, and then pour the models in gypsum. Make sure the mould can be opened, thus no undercuts. This would automatically give you the desired natural sandstone look. And it would go a lot faster, since it only takes a few minutes for gypsum to cure, instead of hours to print. Colors can be mixed into the gypsum powder, or be painted on.


The disadvantage of gypsum is that it is a dirty mess, and you should *never* pour water with dissolved gypsum down the drain. Never. Even not if there is only a thin mist of gypsum in the water. This will very soon clog your whole drain. You can pour water with gypsum in the garden however, it is innocent and even quite fertile.


If I had to do it, for these particular models, I would probably go the gypsum road.


Maybe these alternatives might be worth looking into?


That said, I do like the rough texture and dull colors of the models in the photos. It adds to the medieval look.


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Where did you your Woodfill from?

Maybe it is not the effect you are looking for, but perhaps the 'fuzzy skin' feature may offer you something?


From my experience, with Woodfill it is important to use a large nozzle, print as cool / low temp as possible and thick layers. 

What you want is for it stay as short as possible in your hot nozzle. 


Of course you also don't want it to under extrude either. And good to hear your business is growing ?

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I checked the colorfabb colors with the sandy look. That might be just the answer for our next job! thanks. 




The Woodfill came from our local dealer of fillaments and 3D printers, i trust their expertise so i dont think the quality is low. 


The business is growing at a nice pace! getting more and more clients. 

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I'm guessing the brand is formfutura?


I have never tried their wood filament, i printed a lot of  colorfabb woodfill, and usually i will use a 0.6mm nozzle (indeed 0.4mm will clog). i find the 0.8mm nozzle to be to big for quality prints (but can be done too). I will print fat layers (0.2 - 0.25mm) and speed around 40mm/s. Temperature is usually around PLA temp 210 - 220°c

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Same here, colorfabb with a 0.6 (hardcore). no issues with clogging, and I went to 0.1 layers. 


As an aside, I found this material printed with almost invisible print lines, but as I was going to apply finish, I sanded it anyway, and sanding worked as expected for a softwood like pine.


I did have to pay attention to infill pattern, wall thickness and print temperature, I was printing cylindrical items with a vertical hole for a lamp wiring shaft, and my first attempt had a weak layer band that fractured almost in a crystalline pattern around the narrowest portion of the print.  Cura layer view was helpful in seeing what was going on, I had managed for a few layers in the fracture zone to create just wall layers that did not divide evenly by the line width and didn't really give enough time for the layer to cool. 


This area did declare itself visually with a darker band in the material, looked like wood that had been burned by a router bit.


By increasing that zone just a little the band disappeared and a test to destruction more than met my strength requirements.


I hope this helps!


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