New 3D printer uses scrap wood as natural feedstock

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I will believe it when the 3D printed output rivals the weight, strength, and durability of a bent wood rocker. (The grain is where the natural strength of the wood comes from.)


Sure, but there would be a big opportunity to expand the options for things like cabinets and flooring. I’d like to know how it compares to MDF.


I don’t think their process works on the scale needed for building materials.

They’re printing this stuff layer by layer with a 25 gauge nozzle, that’s about the same diameter as a vaccine needle. The parts also have to be freeze dried after printing to avoid cracks, which isn’t a quick or energy efficient process.

It’s a neat achievement for sure, and it’s possible some clever engineering could make this work for meter-scale parts instead of millimeter ones, but even then it’s hard to think it would be competitive vs. renewable sources of natural wood, much less byproduct materials like MDF.


I thought wood pellet fuel was the way to deal with scraps … every sawmill and large maker of plywood can have a side business of turning their waste stream into BBQ or heating pellets.


The “deconstruct “ step is what has me questioning the efficiency of this. My understanding is that to separate the fibres from the lignin requires a lot of heat and chemicals, which then have to be removed to isolate the lignin (my exposure is mainly from the kraft pulp process, and acknowledge that there may be more efficient ways of doing the same thing.)

So although they refer to the post-processing energy required, they seem to have conveniently forgotten or ignored the prep required to make this work.


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