5 Tips For Beginners About How To Print With Wood Filaments

Now that we’ve told you about some of the best wood filaments available, let’s talk about how to print with them. Wood filament is often difficult to print with. Many beginners buy a roll of wood filament expecting to print with it just like any other PLA filament. But that is a mistake. Wood filament often requires a fair amount of patience and advanced printing skills to print use.

So here are 5 tips to help you get started for printing with wood filaments.

 

5 Tips For Beginners About How To Print With Wood Filaments

 

1. Use A Larger Nozzle

First, many wood filaments will feel and look like medium density fiberboard. You might even see huge dark specks in the filament. That is normal. However, you should use a larger nozzle with wood filaments so that those large specs don’t jam up inside your nozzle. We recommend using at least a 0.3 mm nozzle, but the larger the better. You can always sand the layers away after the print is finished if you don’t like the look of the larger layering.

 

2. Always Remove The Filament From The Hotend When Not Printing

Next, if you are going to turn off your printer or interrupt printing for any reason, always always ALWAYS remove the filament from the printer head. Otherwise the wood particles in the filament will burn up and create a black sticky mess inside your printer head. If that happens, you will have to clean out the extruder with a cleaning filament. eSUN sells a really good cleaning filament for cheap, so if you need it, go to Amazon and pick up a roll.

 

3. Keep The Temperature As Low As Possible

If you are just learning how to use wood filaments, you might be excited by the idea that you can print darker burned wood finishes on your wood pieces by increasing the temperature. The problem is that many wood filaments very sensitive to higher temperatures, so one degree off and you could be in for a bad time. If the fine wood particles ignite in your hotend, you are will get a nasty clog.

As a result many printers who use wood filaments don’t even bother trying to find that sweet spot where the melt temperature causes a darker wood finish. Instead, see if you can find a wood stain that will achieve the same or similar effect. There are many wood stains available that might save you hours of frustration trying to find those magical few degrees.

 

4. Use High Layer Heights And Faster Printing Speeds

Using a high layer height and relatively fast print speed will keep the filament moving through the hot-end quickly, giving it less time to burn. Sure, higher layer heights don’t look as good, but you can sand them away after the print is finished. Also the faster print speeds may increase the likelihood of z-wobble, so make sure your printer is super stable beforehand.

 

5. Use Higher Retraction

Wood filaments tend to be a bit more runny than regular PLA filaments. This means that while your printer head is moving into position, retraction settings for normal PLA might not be able to keep wood filaments from leaking out of the nozzle. That could cause a huge stringy mess and turn you wooden cowboy figurine into a tangle tumbleweed. So as a precautionary measure, it’s a good idea to increase your retractions speeds and distances a bit.

 

Wrapping it up

Hopefully this article helped you get some idea of what to expect when printing with wood filaments. If you have any other suggestions for how to avoid clogs or get the perfect finish from you wood prints, leave them in the comments below. And remember, if you are looking for the perfect wood filament to try first, check out this article about the top 5 best wood filament brands. There are a few unusual types of wood filament discussed in that article that you might not know about.

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