19/03/2019 – Colorfabb Woodfill

This review handles the Woodfill. The other spool will be reviewed separately, since this is a completely different type of filament.

Time for something special; wood filament.

Colorfabb is a brand that I saw passing regularly in groups about 3D printing where I’m active.
Time to find out what they have on different materials.

I went searching for their website and found out they are located in Holland. The company was founded in 2012.

I was able to put my hands some ColorFabb filament, a spool of Woodfill and a spool of nGen.

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The contents: 2 spools AND…….. some stickers and also a catalogue.
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Nice….. not just another boring box they shipped to me.

In the box, there was a nice addition: a catalogue.

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Interesting to see what the company already produces, but this provides you with some need to know info about that specific type of filament.

Time to open the box:

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This is an actual “good looking” box. Not boring at all. (I know this is not important for printing, but yeah, the eyes like to see something nice too) The box itself was packed in plastic. Inside the box, a clear spool, with information on a label sticking to that spool. The spool is again packed in vacuum plastic and that included some silicate. The whole packaging concept is good to avoid the filament to pick up some moisture.

This spool contained 600 grams of filament. According to the catalogue, you can get these spools in 600 grams or 1800 grams, also in both diameters of 1.75 and 2.85 mm. I have only 1 complaint about the spool: the lack of an indication how much filament is approximatly left on the spool. Several other brands do this these days.

What I like very much is that they have a special site, to “teach” you how to use their filaments: https://learn.colorfabb.com/how-to-print-with-woodfill/

I’ve learned from reading this page, but also from communicating with my contact over there, some important things about this filament: Use at least a 0.4 mm nozzle and 0.2 mm layers. This is because of how this filament is produced (plastic and extra fibres). Going smaller could cause clogs. Since this filament is made of PLA and fibres, I asked my contact at Colorfabb. specificly if this filament is abrassive for your nozzle. The answer was: NO, this is not abrassive.

The exact answer from my contact in the Dutch lnguage: “Nee, woodFill is niet abrassief van zichzelf. Het houtpoeder is gemicroniseerd alvorens met de PLA/PHA is gecompoundeerd. Het kan met de instellingen van PLA geprint worden.“

The filament on the spool looks and feels weird, different to what we are used to. The filament is not smooth, even this is PLA. This can be explained by the added fibres. It also appears a bit thicker then regular PLA. So I did my usual measuring of 10 points over a 5 meter distance and then calculating the average to use in my slicer. I’ve got an exact 1.75 mm average with very little differences on al measuring points.

First things first: a temperature tower. They advice a temperature window from 195°C – 220°C. The result proved they are right. When my temperature dropped from 195°C to 190°C (the latter is my normal bottom temperature on my PLA tower), I needed to interfear. There was a clog in the extruder on the way. There was little stringing. Bridging showed also some very good results. My best results here were between 200°C and 205°C. I am using a heated bed on 55°C, but they say that a heated bed is not necessary. The company also advices minimum layers of 0.2 mm. (I do understand why. This is to prevent clogs due to the fact there are fibres added to the plastic).

Printing this material made me realise immediatly 2 things: 1/ The feel of the print is like fibreboard when you touch it. 2/ While your printing, it smells like cutting fibreboard when you’re close to the printer (range less then 50 cm). This smell is not annoying and going further away from the printer, you don’t smell it at all

Time to print my usual caibration cube. This cube shows interesting info about the overhangs. No supports, 205°C, bed 55°C, 0.2 mm layers, 50 mm/sec, 5% infill.

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This is normal for the bottom, being printed with NO supports!
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Bottom view from the top of the print.

We can say that the result is pretty nice. The object feels smooth, not rough. Except for the usuall artifacts for printing without supports, we can not complain about this result.

Time for more printing tests. Since this is WOOD…….. what should we print? How about Baby Groot? 0.2 mm layers, temperature 205°C (210°C 1st layer), bed 55°c (60°C 1st layer), speed 50 mm/sec, 10% infill.

I will be adding very soon extra pictures of the glued Baby Groot.

Could we print wooden planks? Here we clearly see, I need to tweak the retracting just a little more.

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How about a Moai? The usuall settings, but this time NO supports and NO infill.

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I designed myself a vase for decoration. This was made of only a bottom and 3 perimeters. Again no supports and no infill. Could it get any better?

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I had just a little more filament left on the test spool, so I’ve decided to print a tribute for Chris Warkocki. This guy does so much for the 3D printing community, especially for the Prusa lovers. Someone created this free stl for him. Again, this was printed without infill and without supports.

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Conclusion:

  • 1st of all, Colorfabb has a great website, with much interesting info about settings for printing this stuff.
  • Needs to be printed as regular PLA, but……. keep in mind that you keep minimum 0.2 mm layers and a 0.4 mm nozzle to prevent clogging.
  • Does not require a heated bed.
  • My best printing temperature was 205°C. The company advises something between 195°C and 220°C.
  • Smells a little when you’re with your nose on the printer. A lillte further away and you don’t smell anything.
  • Stringing is minimal when properly setup your retractions.
  • I didn’t have any warping at all.
  • I do miss some markings on the side of the coil to estimate the leftover.

This is for sure, on of the best filaments I’ve laid hands ond so far. Yes, it costs a little more, but you can see in the great results, that it is worthed every cent. I would buy and use this when I had to print something that needs a real wooden look and no paint.

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