Biodegradable GROWLAY 3D

Lay Filaments

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25,95 €
25,95 €

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Biodegradable and microcapillary filament, capable of absorbing water, seeds and substrate.

In 2012 the prestigious German filament manufacturer Kai Parthy revolutionized 3D printing by creating the first wooden filament on the market, the Laywoo-D3. A few years later Kai Parthy has managed to surprise the world of 3D FFF / FDM printing once again with an unimaginable filament. It is the GROWLAY filament, a microcapillary filament, capable of absorbing water, seeds and substrate.

Video 1: Growlay in detail. 

Within this material there are two options with certain variations in properties:

  • Brown Growlay 
  • White Growlay 

Brown Growlay

The basis of functioning of the GROWLAY brown is the ability to serve as a means of growth to vegetables through its porosity and microcapillaries that form the material. A piece made with a 3D FDM printer and the brown GROWLAY filament is capable of absorbing water, liquid fertilizer or any nutrient that will be key to feeding the root of the vegetable that you want to grow.

Image of a scanning electron microscope of cheese grown on GROWLAY

Image 1: Image of a scanning electron microscope of cheese grown on GROWLAY. Source: Kai Parthy

The brown GROWLAY, apart from containing porosity, incorporates natural cellular material derived from the wood that serves as food for every vegetable element that is inserted in the piece. Following is a series of applications of this material:

In pieces created with this material the moss grows in the same way as in stones or trees, with the same ease and speed. Mold also grows, through the capillaries of open cells, forming the mycelium. The mycelium is the vegetative apparatus of the fungi, by which they feed, being the crucial part for the growth of fungi on the pieces created with the brown GROWLAY. Developments carried out by Parthy demonstrate that it is possible to grow lichen to obtain cheese mold. The following images show the cultivation of blue cheese (Gorgonzola) mold and another of white cheese.

GROWLAY brown with white mold and lichen

Image 2: GROWLAY brown with white mold and lichen. Source: Kai Parthy

The brown GROWLAY is a perfect base for the seeds of grasses or spores to find a place to germinate. During the growth the roots cling through the small cavities that the structure of the filling of the piece presents, giving rise to a fast and safe growth.

The brown GROWLAY can be easily printed by any current 3D FDM printer thanks to its good rigidity, tensile strength and adequate thermal stability, characteristics similar to other Kai Parthy filaments, such as the LAYWOO-D3.

White Growlay

Unlike brown Growlay, white Growlay is an experimental grade material, recommended for advanced users who have previously used brown Growlay.
White Growlay is a biodegradable and compostable material, as it can decompose in less than 90 days without leaving toxic residues, turning into useful matter (compost).

GROWLAY sown with grass

Image 3: GROWLAY sown with grass. Source: Kai Parthy.

Like the brown Growlay, the white Growlay is made up of microcapillaries. Thus, it is able to absorb water, liquid fertiliser or any nutrient that will be key for the root nutrition of the plant you want to grow.

In terms of composition, the most striking difference between brown Growlay and white Growlay is that the latter does not contain any wood particles in its composition. Consequently, white Growlay has a lower tensile strength, as well as a lower stiffness, which makes it more difficult to print.

Cultivation of blue and white cheese mold in GROWLAY

Image 4: Cultivation of blue and white cheese mold in GROWLAY. Source: Kai Parthy

For certain applications, it is very useful to differentiate between the different pieces printed with Growlay. Both Growlay brown and Growlay white can be dyed with food dyes, although the resulting colours will be much more saturated in white.

Research centers, pharmaceutical centers or even creative chefs benefit from this filament thanks to the fact that it can be sterilized by a liquid or gas process, never thermal. This great advantage makes GROWLAY brown a filament able to grow food in a healthy way for consumption, something never seen before in 3D FDM printing.

Biodegradable Biodegradable
Hide color variations (Hide color variations)

Here are some recommendations to safely print the GROWLAY brown:

  • It is recommended to use a nozzle of at least 0.4 mm in diameter, although it is advisable to use a nozzle of 0.5 mm in diameter.
  • The optimum temperature of the extruder can vary between 235 and 250 °C, if a lower temperature is used it is likely that a jam will occur in the HotEnd.
  • Once an printing process with this filament has been completed, the filament should be removed and the cleaning filament loaded for 30 seconds to eliminate any traces of the wood particles contained in the brown GROWLAY. This way the user avoids jams in future prints.
  • The brown GROWLAY should be printed on a cold platform, without a heated chamber. If the filament manifests signs of humidity, it should be dried at 80 ºCPrinted pieces should be dried with a cold fan, never in an oven.
  • The recommended infill for the brown GROWLAY is maximum 35 %, ideally 2 - 3 perimeters for fast rinsing.

As far as 3D printing with GROWLAY white:

  • It should be printed on cold platform, without a heated chamber. After printing, the filament should be left in the hotend until it cools down (plus 10 minutes), and then pulled out at 60 ºC.
  • If the filament manifests signs of humidity, it should be dried at maximum 40 ºC. Printed pieces should be dried with a cold fan, never in an oven.
  • The recommended infill for the white GROWLAY is maximum 35 %, ideally 2 - 3 perimeters for fast rinsing.
  • The white GROWLAY should be printed in the lower temperature range (85 ºC) when a full metal hotend of big diameter is used (0.6 mm). For smaller hotends (0.3 - 0.4 mm) or hotend with a PTFE inliner, the higher extrusion temperature can be used (135 ºC). At temperatures over 160 ºC GROWLAY white will become totally liquid and drippy.
  • The maximum recommended retraction distance is 2 mm.

Masterspool format

The 250 g. format of the Growlay filament can sometimes cause problems during the printing process because it does not include a spool that helps the correct supply of material from the 3D printer.

To avoid this type of problem when printing this and other filaments that are sold in masterspool format you can use a variable spool holder. Thanks to the use of this device, all kinds of tangles and overlaps derived from the absence of a spool are largely avoided.

General information
Manufacturer Kai Parthy-LayFilaments (Germany)
Material Growlay white
Growlay brown
Format Pack of 50g
Roll of 250g
Density -
Diameter of filament 1.75 or 2.85 mm
Diameter tolerance ± 0.1 mm
Filament length -
Color White
Brown (1)
RAL/Pantone -
Print settings
Printing temperature White: 85 - 135 ºC
Brown: 235 - 250 ºC
Print bed temperature 40 ºC
Chamber temperature Not necessary
Cooling fan Recommended
Nozzle diameter > 0.40 mm
Mechanical properties
Izod impact strength -
Charpy impact strength -
Elongation at break -
Tensile strength -
Tensile Modulus -
Flexural strength  -
Flexural modulus -
Surface hardness -
Thermal properties
Softening temperature -
Melting temperature -
Specific properties
Transparency  Opaque
Biodegradable Yes
Additional Information
HS Code 3916.9
Diameter roll (outer) 200 mm
Diameter roll (inner hole) 125 mm
Roll  width 30 mm

* The typical values detailed in this table should be considered as a reference. Actual values may vary depending on the 3D printer model used, part design and printing conditions. We recommend confirming the results and final properties with own tests. For more information you should consult the technical data sheet of the product.

(1) The pink and blue Growlay of the images in the description is white Growlay tinted. The white Growlay is only recommended for expert users.


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