Ron Swanson doesn't often use 3D printing technology. But when he does, you can bet that he would want to do it in wood, not some fancy plastic or ceramic. Fortunately for Ron, LAYWOO-D3 is a new FDM filament for RepRap printers that is made of 40% recycled wood material, with the rest made up of polymer binders. More like plywood than a nice hardwood.
The material smells and looks like wood, albeit more of a plywood than a nice hardwood. Once an item is printed out, you can sand, paint, saw, and do just about anything else you would do to the real thing. Imagine printing out your own set of Lincoln Logs or a wooden iPhone case for your outdoors-loving father.
Invented by German Thingiverse member Kaipa, the filament can even simulate tree rings. Heating it to 190 C gives the material a light color, while increasing the temperature to 230 C makes it darker, giving the appearance of rings. The filament is non-warping, can be printed with rough or smooth surfaces, and limited quantities are currently only available in 3mm, although 1.7mm is planned.
Recycling wood and using a renewable resource for 3D printing is admirable on it's own, not to mention the undeniable aesthetic appeal of wood. LAYOO-D3 is an exciting addition to the growing number of materials that can be printed, looking forward to seeing what designers can do with it.
If you want to check it out and get rustic with your printing, you can order some here (supplies appear to be limited), or find some on eBay.