Blog – Kai Parthy is again with LAYWOOD-FLEX, a versatile model of LAYWOOD 3D printer filament

May 13, 2015 | From Alec

At some point, we’re all looking for more 3D printing options that PLA or ABS filaments can give us. In the subsequent search for alternatives, you quickly land on one of the many exciting filaments from Kai Parthy. And that’s not surprising, given that the German inventor has definitely earned the nickname filament wizard in recent years thanks to the many options it offers manufacturers. If you are looking for exceptionally flexible or strong filaments, wood or ceramic-like properties or even a 4D printing material that is solid when dry and becomes very flexible in contact with water, sooner or later you end up at Kai.

Of all these filaments, perhaps the most groundbreaking and popular one LAYWOODThis special filament is a composite of recycled wood and polymer parts that can be used to create wood-like objects that have the look, feel and even smell of wood. Depending on the printing temperatures used (it can be printed at any temperature between 175 and 250 degrees Celsius) it can even have light and dark colors.

Just one example of what you can do with LAYWOOD.

As Kai explains to, it has intrigued many users. “In the meantime, I have sold to many enthusiastic retailers, small and large, around the world. Sometimes the shipping cost was almost higher than the inside amount ordered. So it wasn’t easy to distribute LAYWOOD (TM) around the world from my garage, ”he says. “In the first month in particular, I got nice feedback from early risers who printed wooden planes, farmed boxes or the omnineule. Jeremie Francois even created a plugin to automate the process of Manipulating the G-code for the tree ring effect. It was an incredible gift for me. ‘

So Kai is back now and has developed a new edition of the LAYWOOD filament to give us even more potential for 3D printing. It’s called LAYWOOD-FLEX, and where the original wood filament tries to emulate a typical two-by-four, the FLEX version essentially restores the quality of knots in nature. In short, slightly flexible versions of the wood thread are created. ‘I added some flexibilizers and got a correct result, which in sum is a thermoplastic polymer composite made from harmless ingredients. It’s not rubbery, but it’s pliable enough to print indestructible things, ”he tells us.

You can see the FLEX filament in the clip above. In short, LAYWOOD has a higher tensile strength, but breaks with enough pressure. LAYWOOD-FLEX has a lower tensile strength, but a much higher degree of elasticity. Perfect for 3D printed belts, imitations of wooden decorations, or even small pieces of furniture (and whatever else you can think of). Interested? Contact your local filament supplier or contact Kai right here.


The full specifications of the filament are:

  • No (or minimal) warping
  • Rough or smooth surfaces that can be sanded
  • Depending on the temperature and printing speed, 3D printable tree rings (185 to 255 ° C) are possible. The elasticity is higher with darker layers.
  • Adheres well to ABS paint on cold platforms or blue tape.
  • Print directly on Capton tape with a 50 ° C platform.
  • Contains ~ 35% recycled wood and harmless binders made from co-polyesters.
  • Nozzle: 0.5mm.
  • 2.85 / 1.75mm filament.
  • Prices exactly the same as LAYWOOD.

Kai Parthys creations

This newest and most promising filament can be added to a long list of Kai’s exciting filaments including:

LAYWOO-D3, also known as LAYWOOD (2012). The wood / plastic composite on which LAYWOOD-FLEX is based.

LAYBRICK (2013). A sandstone-like filament that contains chalk for smooth and rough surfaces, EMS or shielding. It’s perfect for 3D printing architectural models.

An example for LAYBRICK.

The BENDLAY Series (2013/2014). A transparent, very tough yet bendable filament.


LAYCERAMIC (2014). A clay-based filament that after 3D printing can be sintered in an oven (up to 1000 degrees Celsius). After glazing with enamel, beautiful ceramic structures are created.


The patent pending POROLAY Series (2014). With four separate filaments (LAYFOMM 40/60, LAY-Felt, GELLAY and LAY-TEKKKS), these filaments are perfect for 3D printing of 3D membranes, filters, future cloths, art paper, oriented fibers, biocells and marine flow simulation Organisms and microfoam. In addition, rinsing the printed object in water turns the solid material into a porous and fibrous structure.

POROLAY – strong or flexible.

MOLDLAY (2014). A waxy filament that can be used to shape wax spills and even permanent mold casting.

Silicone poured into a mold.

DI-ELECTRO-LAY (2014). This frequency shielding filament is filled with up to 76 titanium dioxide and can be used for high frequency shielding or to influence electromagnetic fields (developed for Dr. Pommerenke, Jiao Xiangyang, Missouri University of Science and Technology).

An example of a 3D printed circuit board antenna.

Carbonyl iron (3/2014). This filament changes the permittivity and permeability of magnetic fields and magnets and is filled with 75% carbonyl iron (developed for Dr. Pommerenke, Jiao Xiangyang, Hui He, Guangyao Shen, Missouri University of Science and Technology).

Carbonyl iron.

And finally there is LAY-a-PVA (1/2015). This water-soluble PVA filament is perfect for 3D printing support structures (temperatures: 225 – 245 ° C). This filament, which dissolves in cold water, has improved adhesion to ABS and is completely tear-resistant.


Posted in 3D Printing Materials

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