Sep 20, 2017 | By Benedict

Kai Parthy, 3D printing expert and wood filament pioneer, has introduced a new “cardboard-like” wood 3D printing material called LAYWOODmeta5. The rough-surfaced material floats in water and is thermally isolating, making it an ideal material for cup holders and similar products.

Germany-born Kai Parthy, the brains behind Lay Filaments, has been responsible for a number of innovations in the world of 3D printing materials.

An early pioneer of wood filament, the 3D printing expert has developed a huge range of materials for (mostly FDM) 3D printing, with products like MOLDLAY, BENDLAY, and LAYCERAMIC all finding success on the materials market. Parthy has even made a mark on construction 3D printing, with his 3D printed steel inserts making headlines late last year.

Parthy’s latest creation is another in the LAY range, and it's a wood filament with a few tricks up its sleeve.

LAYWOODmeta5, so called because of five key properties it exhibits, is a highly porous 3D printing material that’s so light it floats on water. Weighing as little as balsa wood, the filament can purportedly “swim,” and would surely make a useful addition to your next 3D printed boat project. (Just remember that the filament will float when rinsed, but will submerge when unrinsed.)

That impressive porosity and low density is LAYWOODmeta5’s first key property, and at 0.5 grams per cubic centimeter, the material is certainly on the lighter end of the filament spectrum.

But there are other interesting features about Parthy’s new wood 3D printing material. Its surface texture, for example, is very rough. This cardboard-like feel, the second main property of the filament, gives objects printed in the material a rustic look.

The material can even be changed after printing is complete, because the third property of LAYWOODmeta5 is its climate responsiveness, an unusual feature that means the material can be marginally elongated when rinsed in water, or shrunk slightly when dried.

Usefully, this elongation is also entirely reversible, so 3D printed objects can be returned to their original shape and size after climate exposure.

The fourth property of Parthy’s new filament is one for the coffee lovers. Yes, the 3D printing material is great for thermal isolation, meaning makers can use the filament to 3D print their own cup holders for protecting hands from cups of hot drink. This feature comes about because of the low thermal conductivity of the porous structure of the material.

Finally, LAYWOODmeta5 is also an “absorptive carrier for agents,” so it can be easily painted with water-based inks.

The warp-free material can be printed at 235-250°C on an unheated print bed, and purportedly sticks as well as ABS.

Check out Kai Parthy’s other filaments here.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Materials

 

 

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