4541

3D Printing of 100% Wood

Magdassi Shlomo, HUJI, Faculty of Science, The Institute of Chemistry
Shoseyov Oded, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Plant Sciences and Genetics

Keywords

3D printing, green technology, wood, natural binder

Current development stage

TRL4 Technology validated in lab; Looking for seed/angel investment

Application

  • Current manufacturing and processing of wood uses hazardous materials and traditional low-tech methods.  The existing methods require significant manpower, but more importantly, limits the versatility and personalization of the products.
  • Hazardous materials that are currently used as binders such as formaldehyde are under regulatory pressure to be phased out. Current “look-alike” digital wood products are simple plastics which do not obtain warmth and tactility properties
  • Furthermore, the amount of unused wood residues from industrial processes increases yearly without any viable market.
  • There is a need for materials and printing technologies for fabrication of whole wood 3D printed objects that are biodegradable and free from chemicals.

Our Innovation

The research group developed a natural binder that enables digital printing of 100% wood. The resulting printed structure has superior mechanical properties over MDF and HDF, while retaining the feeling and sense of wood. Our offering is a digital wood printer and inks that form the hard base layer via a digital process for different geometries and topographies. Decorative and protective thin layers are inkjet printed as top coatings to give the final high-end look.

The Advantages 

  • 100% natural biodegradable materials
  • Complete design freedom for wooden products
  • Wood renewable - Ink inputs are considered “waste products” from other industrial processes.
  • Multiple wood typed in one print job
  • Tailoring the properties of the printed wood (thermal conductivity, acoustic, sense etc)
  • Compatible with existing hardware

4541.jpg

Fig. 1:  Fully 3D printed 100% wood without addition of synthetic polymetric binders, by using direct write technology

 

Opportunity

Game-changer for 3D digital printing industry enabling new domains:

  • Wood industry - Wood crafting, furniture, architecture and construction
  • Pulp and paper industry

The technology enables producing  high-quality customizable wood parquets. The market of wood laminate parquets in North America alone is estimated to be over 15 B USD.  The business model includes selling the wood printers which will couple the hardware with recurring revenue from ink consumables.  There are supplementary and competitive advantages from regulatory incentives towards sustainable building materials and low cost inputs in formulating the wood inks which strengthen the business case.    

 

Project Leader: Dr. Michael Layani  michael.layani@mail.huji.ac.il

Project Started June 2018

 

Contact for more information:

Matt Zarek
SCOUTING, IDEATION, AND TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION
+972-2-6586686