STOCKHOLM - A research project into 3D printing of wood furniture and components is underway in Europe. Launched by Vinnova, a Swedish government agency charged with developing new, high value forest products, the 3D wood printing project is being managed by Innventia, a research organization located in Stockholm, under an initiative called "Would Wood."
 

Our vision is to radically change the way we produce furniture, structural elements, entire buildings

 
Wood Wood is to establish a consortium for developing integrated material and production concepts for large-scale additive manufacture of advanced wood-based 3D structures. The goal, says Innventia, is furniture and structural elements and, in the long term, medium to large-scale construction projects for the sustainable cities of the future.

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Would Wood is one of 31 new projects being financed by the government, and originated in a proposal application from three young architects: Cesilia Silvasti, Kayrokh Moattar and Lily Huang. The White architectural practice, the KTH School of Architecture and the Mechatronics group at Machine Design, KTH, as well as Innventia, are behind the application.
 
The project is being coordinated by Mikael Lindström at Innventia, which has also developed wood-lignum based materials including carbon fiber and nanocellulose materials. 
 
Lignum carbon fiber
 
The project aims to develop the sustainable materials of the future. New materials cannot be developed optimally if they have to be adapted to current manufacturing processes, which is why it is important that the production of the new innovative materials is organized in close cooperation with the development of new manufacturing processes.
 
This particular project involves an innovative wood-based material for 3D printing and its manufacturing technique. The challenge is in modernizing the current production technique for wood products, enabling it to be adapted for 3D printing. Would Wood covers the development of materials, robotics and additive manufacturing processes, as well as design tools for developing sustainable wood-based composites that are suitable for medium/large-scale 3D printing.
 
Michael Lindstrom
 
“Our vision is to radically change the way we produce everything from furniture, accessories and structural elements to entire buildings. In that way, we lay the groundwork for a new chain of products and services based on 3D-printed wood,” says Innventia’s project manager Mikael Lindström.
 
Producing materials locally, to order, without large stocks, waste or middlemen and thus ensuring quality and good working conditions is also an key driver inter development of 3D-printing.
 
“We believe that this technology will change the way we look at wallpapers of sustainability, including quality of life, environment, logistics, materials strategies, energy and transportation. It’s a very exciting time and we see 3D printed wood as an innovative, sustainable and obvious material in the biobased economy of the future,” says Lindström.
 
By working across industry boundaries in design and architecture, robotics and mechatronics, and materials engineering, the psychology of perception and the forestry industry, this project will generate interdisciplinary knowledge and interaction. The project intends to collaborate with other initiatives looking at additive manufacturing processes.

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