3D Printing

FormFutura Goes “Coco” For 3D Printing Tropical Wood

Wood is pretty hot in desktop 3D printing these days. ColorFabb just showed its new bamboo based filament and filament giant Formfutura has replied with EasyWood Coconut, a PLA based filament that integrates ground coconut to give the look and feel of tropical wood, without actually touching the rainforest.

Like the bamboo and other wood based filaments, EasyWood actually offers many more advantages than one would imagine. Its rough surface feels and smells like real wood as it is a mixture of 40% coconut wood and the polymer blend that Formfutura uses in its Easyfil filament selection. Compared with other wood based filaments it also has a darker colour.

Easywood filament 3d printing

This makes it as easy to use for 3D printing as regular PLA and assures compatibility with most RepRap and extrusion based 3D printers now on the market, anywhere from Ultimaker (1 and 2) to Leapfrog’s and Solidoodle’s entire line ups to MakerBot’s earlier 3D printers (up to the Replicator 2X).

According to Formfutura, EasyWood Coconut’s low shrinkage factor makes it virtually warp-free and thus it does not require a heated plate (if the printer does have a heated plate, Formfutura recommends setting it between 35° and 60° C). It also extrudes at similar low temperatures as its EasyFil PLA but, compared to PLA, it has an extremely low water absorption coefficient and is very resistant to salt water.

The many environment conscious people in the consumer 3D printing industry will be particularly glad to know that coconut wood is a perfect substitute for traditional tropical hardwood and thus even can play a role in reducing the world’s tropical deforestation: one more reason to hope for a massive diffusion of 3D printing and one more product that could help make it possible.