Something new we are trying at the lab this year is wood printing! Volunteer, Karthik Subramaniam, was interested in wood printing and if we would be able to do it at the lab. As it turns out that answer is yes! The wood filament Karthik tried is actually a combination of PLA and wood particles. As a result, it prints almost exactly the same as PLA does. There are just a few minor changes that needed to be made. One change involves the speed of the print. Wood filament is best printed at slower speeds allowing the filament more time to cool before another layer is added on top of it. This helps prevent any mishaps as the model is being printed. Another change is the layer height of the print. Layer height is how much material is being printed at each layer. With PLA we commonly use a layer height of 2mm, but with the wood filament it is recommended to use a layer height of 3mm. When Karthik tried out these small changes the final products looked amazing.
Stop by the lab to try out wood printing yourself! Want to be featured in a blog post? If you have an interesting story that you would like to tell about making at the lab, share it with us by emailing UIMakerLab@Illinois.edu! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, Snapchat(uimakerlab) and Instagram!