We want to share with you our experiences with the materials we use for our own products, and the settings we use to create them. Our tips focus mainly on aesthetics, but you should also read articles about setting up your printer properly. There is a lively community of users and their tips and experiences for each printer.
We started creating our designs in celebration as more attractive materials appeared on the market. An object can only look as nice as the material it’s made of. We love matte materials and especially composite materials with wood particles. They allow you to achieve a more sleek look because the structure allows you to blend the layers. Wooden materials even evoke a new material feeling. You don’t even sense it’s made of plastic.
Observe the differences between ordinary PLA and matte PLA: these printed cones are the same size and thickness, and you can see that the ordinary PLA is much more transparent. The colors are also different, matte PLA is more snow-white, unlike ordinary PLA, which is creamier.
Adjusting the print height is very important for achieving a nice result. But you must reckon with the fact that a good result will take longer to print. The lower the print height, the longer the process takes and the more layers there are.
Printing thinner layers means much less material flows out of the nozzle, which is beneficial for a few reasons. Namely, the thinner layers cool faster, with better retraction, and fewer defects. Thin layers can also be invisible to the eye, giving a more sophisticated overall appearance.
When using composite materials such as wood, you’ll need to use a thicker nozzle diameter to keep it from clogging up. When using basic materials, you can achieve the same effect on the surfaces as on the layer height by using thinner nozzles.
When printing with wood materials, you should use at least 0.5mm nozzle. Fortunately, the structure of the materials will allow you to sufficiently melt the layers.
We find it interesting to use a concentric pattern instead of a linear pattern on round surfaces. You can achieve a very similar effect as, for example, from a lathe.