LAYWOOD Filament Gets Even Better: Bringing Flexibility to the Table

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Sure, ABS and PLA are great and all. Both deliver flexibility and decent results.

However, sometimes you just need something else. Something not quite so obviously plastic.

Maybe something unique to create a one of a kind look or feel on your final print. Up until now, your options have been limited (but growing).

Well, the creator of LAYWOOD is back with something new – LAYWOOD-FLEX. What’s this new filament do and is it worth your time?

Let’s take a peek.

All about LAYWOOD-FLEX

The original LAYWOOD filament was released in 2012, and it quickly gained popularity with those looking for a unique filament type. It combined recycled wood and polymers to create a unique wood-like look.

It delivered an authentic look and feel, and creating color variations was as simple as cranking up the heat a little bit.

Kai Parthy, the filament’s developers, says, “In the meantime, I sold to a lot of enthusiastic small and bigger retailers all over the world. Sometimes the shipment costs were nearly higher than the ordered amount.

So, it wasn’t really easy to distribute from my garage to all over the world. Especially in the first month, I got nice feedback by early birds printing wooden planes, breadboxes or the ominous owl.

Francois even created a plugin to automate the procedure of manipulating the g-code for the tree-ring effect. This was an amazing gift to me.”

Considering the massive success of his original filament, it makes sense that Kai would keep on innovating. That drive to make his invention better resulted in LAYWOOD-FLEX.

What’s different? Kai points out that with the original LAYWOOD, he really just wanted to emulate the solidity and stability of natural wood. Think of a 2 x 4.

With LAYWOOD-FLEX, he’s changed his focus to emulating the way branches act in nature. They’re flexible, elegant, bendable without breaking.

Those are the qualities he sought to add to the filament, and he’s done a great job of it.

He reduced the tensile strength so that while the original formulation might be stronger (read: more rigid), the new formulation offers greater flexibility and elasticity. This makes it perfect for 3D printing anything that needs to remain flexible, such as a belt, although it can also be used for printing curved items where conventional filament wouldn’t serve.

The full specs for the new LAYWOOD-FLEX are as follows:

  • Minimal warping (possibly none at all)
  • Surface can be sanded
  • Surface can be smooth or rough
  • Temperature increases/decreases lighten/darken the filament
  • Sticks to blue tape
  • Contains up to 35% recycled wood (so it’s greener)

If you’re ready to get your hands on this new filament, you’ll find it available through your preferred supplier, or you can buy it from Kai’s website if you like. The prices are the same as for the original LAYWOOD filament as well.

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