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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Milwaukee, WI / Ft Walton Beach, FL
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    ColorFabb WoodFill Print and Processing Test

    Well, I had the time to run a test today with ColorFabb's WoodFill filament. First, here are the details:
    Taz 5 Printer
    Hexagon hot end with Wades Reloaded Extruder (stock Taz)
    Nozzle: .35 @ 200c
    Bed: PEI @ 60c (clean, no adhesive agent like tape/abs juice)
    Layer: 0.15mm
    Retraction: 4mm
    Print Speed: 3600mm/min
    Cooling: 0 until layer 4 then 50%
    Coasting: 0.20mm
    Sliced: Simplify3D

    Base FFF File can be downloaded here:
    I altered the layer height from the FFF download. That FFF should get you in the ballpark for your printer. Tweak as needed.
    Full gallery of before/after:

    Raw print right off the bed:

    The rough area in the crotch is where I removed the support material. If you print with supports, they WILL leave rough areas that will require sanding more than the rest of the object.

    I want to say that this filament was a pleasure to print with. The filament itself is reasonably smooth to the touch. Certainly not ABS/PLA smooth but for a wood fill fiber, its smoother than the BambooFill and LayWoo 3D and the 40grit EasyWood Coconut. The filament is easy to handle with normal installations. My guess is it would do fine in a bowden due to its stiffness. It is brittle so you got about a 10-20 degree bend over a couple inch arc before it snaps. Clearly less fragile than LayBrick which snaps just looking at it wrong but is not as forgiving as ABS/PLA. With reasonable handling, its all good.

    Printing is pretty easy once you get some settings down. It DOES ooze. I found that a 4mm retraction helped considerably. I still had a few blobs at the ends of runs so I added a cost of 0.2mm and as you can see, this resulted in near perfect results right off the bed! Printing odor is strong. Its not bad strong but you are gonna smell it throughout the room(house). Its a sweet caramel smell mixed with a warm wood smell. Think marshmallows on a campfire and you will be pretty close. As I said, not bad, just stronger than ABS and PLA that I have experienced.

    The streaks I am not sure what causes them. The filament is very uniform in color so I must presume its due to the variance in print speeds. Not a bad effect, just an unexpected one. I looked in a magnifying glass, they are NOT layer separations, or if they are its not visible. I didn't try it but I suspect this will color print well with sharpies (2x or 4x sharpie adaptor). Maybe a brown or a brown+yellow combo would make a nice change in color for this. I don't have enough of the sample from GlobalFSD to try the sharpies on unfortunately.

    The print detail is quite nice. I will say I forgot to enable random layer starts which is why you will see some lines mostly noticeable down her side as the start/end overlaps line up. Print speed seems to control density with this filament. Print it slow and its dense and hard, print it fast and its softer more woodlike. I printed small test samples at 195, 200, and 210 and I could detect no difference in color unlike what happens with Laywoo 3D which means its going to be very forgiving temperature wise.

    Overhang printing is decent. But on the overhangs, I noticed fine fibers sticking out.

    Notice the fibers on the lower part of the buttocks where they are doing an overhang.

    I printed several small test prints as well as this one which ran about 3hrs. Zero feed problems and zero clogs. Nozzle clean out was a piece of cake! The head was cool when I came back up. I set it for 240 and expected to run some ABS through. I released the roller and lightly pulled on the filament as it heated. I want to say around 120c it popped loose from the hot end and the entire melted chunk came right out! I let it heat up to 240 and shoved some black ABS in. I didn't run maybe 10mm of black until the extruded material changed from tan to jet black. Another 10mm and it was solid and clean. Thats telling me it took out nearly all of the melted product almost down to the nozzle inlet. Talk about easy cleanup!

    Finishing was a surprise as well. I had expected it to sand like a softer product since it was wood. But I find sanding it with 240, 320 and finally 500 rather labor intensive compared to ABS. I think sanding ABS was much easier and it seemed softer than this printed model. I did sand this exact same model in ABS at this size as well as one 4" tall (this was 3"). So I do have an apples to apples comparison here. This is NOT like sanding wood unless you compare it to a very hard wood like cocobolo or perhaps a very hard oak. Power tools entered my mind but I decided not to as I was afraid they would destroy the model/detail.

    But, even with the required extra effort it did sand well. I didn't do a thorough sanding job as you can see in some of the images. I was more focused on ability to sand, affinity to scratch, ease of finishing and print quality than producing a show piece here.

    After sanding I finished with 0000 steel wool which left a semi-mat finish to it. I think I would go with bronze wool on this though. The steel wool seemed to darken the surface a bit. The finish the wool made was pretty pleasing. I was considering trotting down to the spray booth and hitting it with a clear lacquer. But on a whim, I decided to see if acetone would affect it so I took a snippit of the filament and wiped it with an acetone soaked paper towel. I expected nothing to happen, or at most, very little since this is supposed to be PLA based and PLA does not dissolve in acetone (unless you apply it for long durations). To my surprise a wet towel made the surface sticky. That told me it was dissolving something in the filament. After some experimentation on raw filament, I found that a towel that is just barely damp will polish the surface like a wax!

    Here is what it looks like post processed:

    Thats a pretty decent shine for near zero effort! Your paper towel must contain the slightest amount of acetone. Basically it should feel cool but not even damp. If you can feel wetness, its too much. Once you got the right level go about buffing it with long light strokes as though you were using carnuba wax on real wood.

    This is NOT wet! Thats the actual shine from polishing for maybe 1-2 minutes with a paper towel!

    In the end ColorFabb's WoodFill is a solid easy to use wood based product that produces pretty good results. Heck if this noob can get it to work in one night, I would guess a seasoned maker wouldn't have any trouble! I will likely be in the market for a spool of this eventually.

    Parting shot....Before:


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    nice write up, thanks for all the info

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Great review of it, I may end up picking some of it up!

  4. #4
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Tilburg, the Netherlands
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    Great advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Annapolis, MD
    Thank you for an extremly well written review.

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