Early attempts at 3D printing wood were clumsy, but the manufacturing technology has come a long way. A startup called Forust–which is a subsidiary of Desktop Metal, whose binder jetting 3D printing techniques we looked at here–has devised a way “to make high-volume wood 3D printing affordable, reliable, and sustainable [by] applying the speed, precision and quality of binder jetting to produce strong, lightweight wood components derived from two wood waste streams – sawdust and lignin.”
Where Desktop Metal uses metal powders, Forust uses sawdust for the powder bed instead, and what they’re calling a “bio-epoxy resin” for the binding agent. What they’re able to produce looks pretty darn convincing, at least in photos:
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The company says the resultant prints can be worked with regular tools, will accept common fasteners and will even take finish. They also say they can “mimic a wide variety of wood species [including] oak, teak and walnut.”
They’re currently selling a series of 3D-printed wooden vessels designed by (who else?) Yves Behar.
Here’s a little look at their process: