Desktop Metal, a leader in the metal binder jetting production market, has launched Forust, a new company that uses volume additive manufacturing for the production of sustainable wood products from wood waste.
Wood is preferred in the building industry for its ease of reuse, safety and low environmental impact through sustainable forestry. Now, Forust technology converts wood waste into new, unique, wood products. It does so by leveraging Desktop Metal’s patented single-pass binder jetting additive manufacturing technology.
The goal is to utilize wood waste instead of cutting down new trees to source wood material, allowing more trees to remain in the forest, and enhancing the sustainability of using wood as a material.
The results are similar to conventional wood materials in functionality and strength due to the combination of wood waste alongside bioresins as an input into the additive manufacturing (3D printing) process. Materials can even be produced to include the various grain textures found in natural wood.
Using Desktop Metal’s high-speed 3D printing technology, byproducts from the wood manufacturing industry and those from the paper industry are combined with bioresins and converted into new, functional wood parts via high-speed 3D printing.
This offers users the opportunity to produce projects with a superior environmental footprint. Thanks to the additive nature of the production process, designers have more freedom with the shapes and designs they can create. The method of converting waste products into high-quality materials could help industries move towards sustainable processes just by changing their source materials.
Forust’s materials have a wide range of applications, from mass-producing everyday items to crafting high-end, architectural pieces. So far, it has been used in luxury car interiors, consumer goods, architecture, and furniture. It can be customized to produce materials of diverse densities, colors, mechanical properties, and morphologies. Forust can cope with manufacturing in batches and on the scale of mass production.
Although 3D printing has existed since the 1980s, it has only been in recent years that its potential applications have begun to be fully explored and developed. This means that new applications of 3D printing, such as its use in regenerating waste wood into new materials, are only beginning.
As processes continue to be enhanced it will present opportunities for a greater number of purposes, and more industries will leverage this technology to produce items that perhaps were not previously possible with conventional wood.
According to experts, it is estimated that the global finished woods products market will reach $1.8 trillion by 2027.