3D printer: soon wooden objects, stronger than chipboard and more ecological than plastic

This wonderful invention will make it possible to manufacture wooden objects more easily and at almost the same price as plastic objects. This technique was developed by researchers atRice University in the United States.

The principle of the 3D printer consists of depositing microdroplets of material, very precisely, on top of each other. By repeating the process hundreds and thousands of times, we can create a volume object. For this, in general, we use a plastic resin which hardens as it dries. Now we know how to do the same thing with a paste made entirely of wood. This means that we will be able to create objects from a single block, a wooden vase, for example, without having to saw, plan or sculpt anything.

These objects will be very inexpensive, since the raw material, wood pulp, is made from sawdust, shavings, branches, that is to say only wood waste. Obviously, this has nothing to do with century-old oak. But it is more qualitative and denser than chipboard. We can sand, cut, drill these “printed” objects without them crumbling. In addition, the printer can reproduce the smallest details of the wood structure. That is to say, the grain, the veins and the eyes of the wood. We will therefore really have the impression of dealing with raw wood.

All types of objects could be designed with this technique: decorative pieces of furniture, which will not need to be sculpted. Decorative objects which, until now, were made of plastic. Automotive veneers, etc. We can really do anything and even create shapes that are impossible to sculpt today. Without neglecting the ecological aspect. In addition to being biodegradable, these items will not require new trees to be cut down. They will only recover and reassemble waste.

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