The number of object shapes we can print with an FFF personal 3D printer is almost infinite, but the number of materials is not. So, when we decided to model a pagoda box and output it to the real world, we saw an opportunity to test Kai Parthy's Laywoo-D3 wood composite filament. After all, if we are going to print something that is typically hand-made from wood, why not try to print it with wood?
We chose to run this test on our Afinia H479, because its software offers forgiveness in a certain area we thought critical for this particular application. Namely, the Platform Calibrate feature, or as it is better known in our shop, Warped Surface Compensation. This unique option allows the user to set offsets between the highest point on the build surface and the rest of the surface at eight additional points. It only works when printing with a raft, which the software creates automatically (unless you turn it off), because the compensation takes place during the raft build.
We wanted the bottom of our box to be flat, but we knew that clamping a secondary surface (in this case, a glass plate) onto the build platform would flex the secondary surface ever so slightly, due to the clamp's pressure. By using the software's Platform Calibration, the raft built underneath the model is adjusted in height to make up the difference for our warped build surface, leaving us with a flat model underside during printing. In this way, the Afinia allows us to create flat objects even when the surface isn't flat and that is exactly what we needed for the pagoda box.