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/ Tips & Tricks / How to post-process PLA Wood

How to post-process PLA Wood

Add:North’s PLA Wood, looks like wood, sands like wood and even smells like wood – that means that this filament has plenty of post processing alternatives. Color, wax or wood stain works perfect for 3D-prints in PLA Wood.

At the end of this article you will find a FAQ, that gives good tips on printing with PLA Wood!

Thanks to its design, the heart shaped box prints in sections without the need for supports. The box is printed using a standard 0,4mm nozzle with a layer height of 0,28mm (no need for any special nozzle, PLA Wood isn’t abrasive).

3d printed hreat shaped box

The finer detail parts, like the roses for the lid are printed at 0,15mm. Standard PLA settings were used, around 215 degrees on the nozzle and 60 degrees on the print bed. Be aware that use of extra bed adhesion like glue stick or Magigoo can make the part stick too well to the bed and you’ll risk breaking the print trying to get it off.

3dprinter in printing process

Coarser parts, printed at 0,28mm layer height were first sanded with 120 and 400 grit sandpaper.

3d printed heart details is being sanded

To get rid of minor stringing around the roses, a lighter was used. Quickly run the lighter a few times over the part to burn them off. Don’t go too slow or close, then you risk ruining your part.

3d printet part and a lighter

In this example we’re using a solvent-based wood stain, dark oak from Herdins and a transparent matte finishing oil. When applying the wood stain, we noticed that the parts that were sanded absorbed the wood stain quicker and got darker than the rest of the parts. For an even darker color, let the part dry and apply some more wood stain (if you’re after a more vintage look, carefully sand various areas of the part when it’s dried and then use wax to seal the look).

3dprinted heart detail is painted brown
3d printed heart shape painted brown

To get a deeper gloss, some regular matte finishing oil was used. Apply with a brush or sponge and wipe away the excess with a lint free rag.


matte finishing oil is being pourd into a glass
3d printed heartbox is painted with finishing oil

Voila, let dry and then you’re left with an amazing looking wood-stained box that’s 3D-printed ☺

3d printed heart shaped box that looks like wood


Can I print with PLA Wood using a regular nozzle or do I need an abrasive-resistant nozzle?

You don’t need a special nozzle to print with PLA Wood. A standard brass nozzle will work just fine.

My 3D printer keeps getting clogged when printing with PLA Wood. Should I switch to a larger diameter nozzle?

PLA Wood has a high fiber content, making it hygroscopic and susceptible to expanding filament diameter. This can cause clogs or jams in the hotend. Signs of moisture include oozing and stringing. To avoid these issues, we recommend drying the filament before and during printing, especially if you’re working in a humid environment. You can use a 0.4mm nozzle to print with PLA Wood, but we don’t recommend going smaller than that. For drying we recommend the FilaDryer S2 from SUNLU.

Is it difficult to print with PLA Wood? Do I need any special setup?

No, you don’t need any special setup to get great results with PLA Wood on any 3D printer. As long as you keep the filament dry, you can use standard PLA slicer settings to achieve great prints.

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