It’s super important to use the best wood filament you can find when printing wood.
Quality matters a lot when printing with wood filaments because they aren’t the easiest filaments to print with. It takes practice and the last thing you need is low quality wood filament while trying to learn.
Otherwise, check out these filaments that you can trust to perform well while you find the right nozzle and print temperature:
Does Wood Fillament Contain Real Wood?
Most good wood filaments contain at least some real wood in the form of saw dust. The quality of a wood filament is often determined in part by the amount and quality of the saw dust that is mixed into the thermoplastic.
The most important aspect of the sawdust in wood filaments is the size of grains. The grains must be uniformly small enough to fit through the nozzle of a 3D printer extruder.
There are a number of other problems that arise due to the unique nature of printing with wood filaments. That’s why we have included the following tips to get you started.
5 Tips For Beginners About How To Print With Wood Filaments
Here are 5 tips for printing with wood filaments. This is a summary of our complete guide post on 5 tips for printing with wood filaments.
1. Use A Larger Nozzle
We recommend using at least a 0.4 mm nozzle, but the larger the better. Most decent nozzle packs will contain a few different sizes of nozzles, ranging up to .6 mm in diameter.
If you don’t like the look of the layers when you use a larger nozzle, you’re not alone. Just remember that 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.
The cleaning filament will look like this after use:
3. Keep The Temperature As Low As Possible
Many wood filaments are 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 will get a nasty clog.
Just stick to a lower temperature while you get used to printing with wood filaments. After you have mastered printing with wood at lower temps, test out slightly higher temps to find the burn color you want.
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.
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.
The 10 Best Wood Filament Brands
The main problem is that it’s hard to find the correct temperatures to print with. And there are so many brands of wood filament out there that it’s hard to know which are high quality.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of the top 5 best wood filament brands around. These high quality brands also sell a few unusual types of wood filament for you to play around with, such as bamboo and cork.
1. 3D Hero
3D Hero wood filament is not only top notch in terms of quality and dimensional accuracy, but it is also compatible with both 3D printers and 3D pens. It also comes with a 30-day money back guaruntee.
If there is one downside to 3D Hero wood filament, it is that it only contains 20% wood.
That being said, 20% is all that is needed for a wood filament to provide good results and more 50% sawdust could make 3D printing with it more difficult. In addition, the price of 3D Hero wood filament is very reasonable.
TIANSE is a general filament supplier from China, but that should not stop you from giving it a try. Just make sure to use a 0.06mm nozzle or larger since the sawdust grains are sometimes on the larger side.
Here are a few other tips for working with Tianse wood filament:
- Wood- Pla Composite have 25-30% wood filled in.
- Recommended nozzel diameter: 0.5mm or above
- Print layer thickness ：not less than 0.25 mm
- Recommended Extrusion/Nozzle Temperature: 200°C – 220°C (210°C preferred)
- Recommended Base Plate/Print Bed Temperature: 30 – 50°C
- Print ambient temperature：20 – 26°C
Tianse is super well reviewed and most users swear by it. In fact, many users compare it to Hatchbox in terms of quality and consistency.
While not quite in the same league as the other wood filaments on this list, it has several advantages, not least of which is that you get two spools, which reduces the price of both by a significant percentage.
Like other popular wood filaments, SUNLU wood filament has 30% sawdust and high dimensional accuracy. They customer service, backed by SUNLU 90 days Money Back Guarantee with 2-Year Warranty.
The main thing to watch out for with this brand is inconsistent quality. While some people have amazing success with this brand, others have seen spools containing filament with warped tolerances.
TIANSE and Hatchbox more reliable results and InLand / eSUN is cheap as well. But again, you get two spools for cheap and when it works, it really works well.
Amolen wood filament is just as stringy as other wood filaments, which means you kind of have to choose between layer bonding and stringing.
One of the nice things about this wood filament is its smell. It smells like maple syrup or brown sugar. The entire room will smell like a cross between a woodshop and an IHOP.
The one thing this filament could benefit from is a darker color. Amolen probably tried to keep the color on the lighter side so that users could control the color with the print temperature themselves, but the result is that the regular prints come out looking lighter than regular wood.
Otherwise, customers love Amolen wood filament highly recommend it, especially for beginners who have never worked with wood before.
5. 3D BEST-Q
3D BEST-Q wood filament is a very special filament in that it is one of the only filaments available that contains Padauk wood. The Padauk sawdust is what gives this filament its unique, dark color.
Padauk trees are from Africa but the wood is in high demand across the world, especially in the US. It is a fantastic wood for wood working, and the rich color of Padauk wood provides similarly pleasing results that could otherwise only be achievable through the use of stains.
The finished prints can sometimes be a bit rogher to the touch than other wood filaments, so get ready to sand them to smooth out the surface.
Another tip: blue painter’s tape seems to be a very effective way of ensuring that the prints stick to the printer bed. No need for other bed adhesion materials.
6. ColorFabb Wood Filament
ColorFabb is a premium filament company from the Netherlands. The company makes easily the highest quality filaments in the world, and ColorFabb wood filaments are to die for.
That’s right, wood filaments with an ‘s’. They make three kinds of wood filament for you to play around with:
- Regular woodfill
All three have different properties. Let’s investigate each one:
The regular woodfill filament has that classic smell of burning wood, but it looks more convincingly like wood than other cheap wood filaments.
You can also sand and stain regular woodfill like other wood filaments.
Another fun post processing technique you can use with this wood filament is etching with a hot knife. Etching involves burning a pattern into the wood filament just like regular wood.
The bamboofill filament is the most versatile wood filament from ColorFabb, but also the trickiest to work with. It is definitely not for beginners.
You can get a wide variety of colors depending on the the temperature you print with. But the bamboo filament is so sensitive to burning that you will have to spend a lot of time unclogging and cleaning out your extruder before you find the perfect temperature for your prints.
Once you find the right settings however, printing with ColorFabb bamboo is very fun.
Finally, the corkfill filament is also challenging to work with for similar reasons that it is hard to work with bamboofill: getting that temperature setting correct.
The main difference between is the color. The corkfill is much darker than the others, which means you won’t get as much color variation at different temperatures. The darker color looks very cool though.
7. MG Chemicals Wood Filament
While MG Chemicals is a large company that sells chemical products of all kinds, they specialize in 3D printer filaments.
MG chemicals wood filament is made from PLA that includes 20-25% poplar wood particles. However, the particles are fairly large, so you should print with a 0.4 mm nozzle to avoid clogging.
It extrudes best at around 210ºC but you can also get darker shades in the wood by upping the temperature a bit. Just be careful not to fully burn the wood since that will clog your extruder.
The best part about MG Chemicals wood filament is that it sells for a very low price on Amazon.com. You will also get free shipping if you order a few spools at the same time. So if you are looking to stock up, this is a good deal.
MG Chemicals also has several distributors around the country. Visit their website for more information.
8. Hatchbox Wood Filament
Like the rest of the Hatchbox filament line-up, Hatchbox wood filament is top-notch.
The filament itself contains the standard 20% wood infill, which is itself fantastic.
But the thing that sets it apart from all other wood filaments is the quality control. Wood filament is notoriously difficult to print with, so Hatchbox has made sure to keep tolerances nearly perfect.
In fact, while the normal standard for filament tolerance +/- 0.05 mm., Hatchbox tolerances are often within +/- 0.01 mm. from the expected diameter. That helps reduce the instances of clogs and will likely happen anyway while you search for the right settings to print wood filament.
Hatchbox wood filaments are priced at around the same price as a regular PLA. For a cheap chinese filament with perfect tolerances, Hatchbox is at the top of the game.
You can find them on Amazon.com and get free shipping if you buy more than one.
9. SainSmart Wood Filament
SainSmart wood filaments are probably the most controversial brand on this list.
The reason is that SainSmart as a brand is known for being a little bit… cold… in terms of how they relate with their customers.
SainSmart is a large, Chinese manufacturer, and as such the products they deliver are little more mass produced and little less personalized.
SainSmart wood filament is fantastic though. There are two types: light and dark.
What’s the difference, and what is in them? It’s a mystery.
But they both work very well. The light wood can be printed at a higher temperature to create different shades on the finish of prints.
Both light and dark wood filaments can be sanded and look very much like actual wood. As with other wood filaments, you should expect some clogging and jams at first before you find the right printer settings.
You can buy rolls of SainSmart filaments for a medium-to-high price on Amazon. The price is the only downside to Sainsmart wood filament. Everything else about it is great.
10. Lay Filaments Wood Filament
No list of wood filaments would be complete without at least mentioning Laywood and the inventor of wood filament: Kai Parthy. Kai invented wood filaments in Germany in 2013 and basically set off a vast new wave of interest in 3D printing.
Although Kai has moved on to create many other experimental and revolutionary filaments, his company Lay-filaments still sells excellent wood filaments.
Beyond the regular Laywoo-3D wood filament that made him famous, he now sells a flexible wood filament that is one of a kind. You can’t find flexible wood filaments anywhere else as far as we can tell. (Let us know in the comments if we are wrong about that.)
The best place to get Laywoo-3D is on Amazon and from various suppliers like Matterhackers.
Laywoo-3D is often labeled as “light cherry” wood filament and the price is good depending on the supplier. But you won’t get a full spool from most sources. At most, you’ll get 100 grams.
Final Thoughts: 10 Best Wood Filament Brands
Wood Filaments are often super difficult to print with.
If you are having trouble working with any of the brands listed above, check out this list of helpful tips for printing with wood filament. Hopefully someday there will be a completely hassle free wood filament, but for now the above brands will do just fine.
If we’ve missed any wood filament brands that you think should be included in this list of the top 5 best wood filament brands, leave us a comment below.
Otherwise, head over to amazon to check out all of these, plus customer reviews and exact product specifications. Happy printing!