How to 3D Print with Wood?
Recent times have brought about several technological improvements globally, and it won't hurt to say that we're moving forward in almost every sector.
Even the printing technology has advanced, and it has become quite possible to perform 3d printing with many different materials now. This advancement has made the production of 3d printing devices increase by a significant amount. As per a report, 3d printing devices are forecasted to grow more than 2.7 million by the year 2030.
Keeping these stats in view, we have coined this article. We aim to take a look at the idea of 3d printing using wood. Moreover, we will look at the process as well as the key tips to print a 3D model using wood perfectly.
So, without further ado, let’s get started:
The Technology Used for 3D Printing with Wood
As we have witnessed an amazing advancement in the tech field, another development came up in the 3D printing sector, too. We have access to hundreds of crafts and 3D stuff, thanks to it.
Specifically, when we talk about 3D printing with wood, thanks to the technology known as Laser Sintering that has made this concept possible. Likewise, the printer using this technology features a print chamber that is heated just below the melting point of the powder.
Technically speaking, the functional prototypes in Laser Sintering are designed so to print 3D layer-by-layer. This step is done using a laser that draws thin lines on powder beds.
For instance, when the printer finishes printing one layer, a new layer of fresh powder is spread over the surface with the help of a roller.
How to 3D Print with Wood?
No doubt, the availability of a 3D printer is the primary requirement to create a 3D model with wood. However, the list does not finish with a printer only, and there are many other things that you need to keep in mind as well.
We have listed all the required steps below so that you can perform the printing without any hectic.
1. Lower the Printing Temperature
In case you don't know, wood has a low burning point. So, the temperature you set for printing can directly affect the color of your print – consequently creating a darker pattern on the wood with a higher temperature.
However, if you're new to 3d printing with wood, it is highly advisable that you stay within the guidelines, play safe, and don't experiment independently, as it will have an adverse impact on the print.
Even though the temperature range depends on the PLA that your filament has, generally, this range is between 170 and 220 degrees Celsius.
2. Clear the Extruder Nozzle
This step is necessary, and you need to check it regularly because it ensures your safety. Like clearing the extruder nozzle happens to be a necessity for fire safety when you’re 3d printing with wood. Other than that, it also ensures that your filament keeps flowing smoothly for the integrity and smoothness of your design.
As wood tends to be a bit chunkier to work with, it is recommended that you use an extruder nozzle wider than 0.4 millimeters (mm). The best part is that you can get them separately from any new full machine. This way, they happen to be a cheap upgrade.
Moreover, the wide nozzle is also easy for cleaning off any previous junk and ensuring that the wood keeps moving.
3. Increase the Print Speed
As compared to other materials, wood filament tends to dry up quickly. Sometimes an extruder nozzle is not enough, and it doesn't help in the prevention of wood prints from stalling out.
However, to tackle the situation in such cases, it is recommended that you use higher print speeds. Not only does it prevent the wood prints from stalling out, but it is also best in keeping the wood filament in the optimal liquid state that is perfectly suited to extrusion.
4. Make Use of an Adhesive Print Bed
The makeup of the filament creates pieces that tend to slide around quite a lot. This happens to be fatal to the process of adding layers. As you read, this technology work on printing layer-by-layer.
Likewise, to 3D print with wood in the right way, you need to have a stable foundation. For that purpose, you can either use painter's tape or heating bed sheets with sticky printing surfaces. This way, these items will help you in the process and will mimic the products.
5. Keep the Fine-Grain Sandpaper at Hand
Cohesion is the primary demand in wood 3D printing projects. For instance, 3D printing with wood is considered to be great for projects that need to look continuous and cohesive.
However, often it doesn't go well with the layering effect inherent in the process, and you will find out minor and small missteps on the print. This can reduce the overall beauty of your project.
So, to hide them, you can use fine-grain sandpaper. The use of fine-grain sandpaper will aid you in shaving off the blemishes on your finished object’s surface.
In addition to that, it will also help in blending the layering marks together. This way, you can get a smooth and fine print that portrays a stunning and aesthetic glance.
Despite the fame that 3D printing is getting day by day, still many people out there are unaware of the important concepts linked to 3D printing. These include the proper technique to make the perfect 3d model using wood.
If you are one of them who share the same concerns, we hope that this article will have provided you with enough information to make your own perfect 3D print with wood.