New 3D printing tool combines sawdust and lignin to form complex wood parts
May 10, 2021 | 11:41 am CDT
Forust 3D printing

BOSTON - A new 3D printing tool takes two waste products from wood and paper manufacturing - sawdust and lignin - and re-materializes them into functional wood parts.

Unlike particleboard or laminate, Forust - from additive manufacturing specialist Desktop Metal - produces a wooden part with a digital grain that flows throughout the entire part which can then be sanded or finished.

“The inspiration for Forust was to begin with sawdust and end with forests,” says Forust leader Andrew Jeffery. “Our process is based on extensive research conducted over the past decade in the field of hardwood lumber, leading to complex and elegant finished structures. Through advanced CAD software, proprietary materials and Desktop Metal binder jetting mass production platforms, we can now manufacture beautiful, functional and innovative wood products for a variety of architectural, interior, and home goods applications from upcycled wood byproducts.”

Forust 3D printing

The system works not unlike an inkjet printer - applying a binding agent onto a layer of sawdust. The object then rises from the sawdust.

Samples are now being offered online, which include architectural accents, furniture, and home products like bowls and flower pots.

“Applications for Forust’s wood parts are really limitless,” said Desktop Metal CEO Ric Fulop. “There are many applications where polymers and plastics are used today where you can now cost-effectively replace with sustainably manufactured wood parts — luxurious high-end components in interiors, consumer electronics, instruments, aviation, boats, home goods and eventually in flooring and exterior roofing applications.”

Forust can create decorative panels, custom wood inlays, tiles, cabinetry doors, chairs, tables, home goods, and more. Check it out here.

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About the author
Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at robert.dalheim@woodworkingnetwork.com.