3D printing of wood in the creation of more ecological luminaires


Although best known for polymers and metals, 3D printing is expanding its horizons in materials development more than ever. This is especially the case when it comes to more durable materials. And what could be greener than the wood itself? In any case, this is the way of thinking of Forust and Desktop Metal .

With the release of the Shop System™ – Forust Edition , companies are looking to make high-volume, affordable wood 3D printing using powder bonding technology(or Binder Jetting).

The technology has already been adopted for a number of projects, including the creation of decorative 3D printed pendant lights, called Cocoon, through a collaboration with designers HagenHinderdael.

As mentioned, Cocoon is the result of collaboration between Forust and HagenHinderdael, an award-winning design firm that aims to combine responsive design and innovative technology in its facilities.

Led by Sofia Hagen and Lisa Hindardael, the company pursues an approach that explores the relationship between immersive art and biophilic design, a concept that aims to increase the connection between people and nature in buildings.

This goal was achieved through the creation of Cocoon, a durable, 3D-printed decorative luminaire that transforms wood waste into organic light and with advanced technology.

Using 3D wood printing to create Cocoon

Cocoon is the culmination of a variety of different concepts. However, the ultimate goal was to create a luminaire that was not only durable, but also resembled an organic structure, thanks to the natural materials used. And this goal has been achieved.

Using Forust and Desktop Metal's innovative wood 3D printing technology, Cocoon has been developed using an innovative process capable of reducing wood waste. The final piece is therefore not only environmentally friendly, but also fully degradable.

The piece takes on a shape reminiscent of cocoons in nature. It was designed using a powder bonding process in which layers of powdered wood are bonded together by lignin, a plant-derived complex polymer that is a key structural material in wood tissue. support of most plants.

This process is therefore not only a high-speed wood 3D printing process that makes it possible to create even end-use parts, but it is also non-destructive for the ecology of the planet. In this particular case, the resulting piece is a 250mm x 460mm Cocoon, available in two designs, which can be stained and finished by hand after printing, including finishing with a wide variety of wood species such as natural, oak, teak and walnut.

The shell is also a protective cover for the internal and integrated OLED light source. The OLED panel is made using technology that is "earth friendly" and produced from 85% glass with a balance of organic materials and non-toxic metals.

Additionally, to create the Cocoon, HagenHinderdael may have used materials that would have been discarded. The goal of this luminaire is to inspire people to look beyond the tradition of product design to see how new technologies and processes can help create more sustainable initiatives for the lighting of the future.

A closer look at the Shop System™ Forust Edition

Of course, the key to the success of this magnificent decorative luminaire lies in the technology used. The Shop System™ Forust Edition is, as the name suggests, a version of the best-selling Shop System™ that has been adapted to print with unfinished sawdust, a by-product of the woodworking industry.

As mentioned earlier, it uses binder jetting, a technology that is increasingly popular for its speed and production capabilities, allowing the creation of intricate wood designs without the need for supports. Additionally, the machine itself is capable of creating parts on a 350 x 222 x 200 mm platen at a print speed of up to 1,6000 cc/hr or approximately 21 mm z-height per hour.

William McDonough, architect and author of Cradle to Cradle, commented on this technology in these terms: “3D printing wood from waste natural materials is a game changer. By allowing millions of trees to remain in their forests, Forust is pioneering highly evolved technology for the circular technosphere.

We have only just begun to explore its beneficial potentials, but it is clear that they are immense. And with Cocoon, we can definitely see the relevance of this technology for a variety of applications, including of course creating beautiful and functional wooden parts.