On April Fools, our friends at FOC pulled a well executed prank on everyone by telling the world that they can 3D print in wood using sawdust. Well…it turns out you can 3D print in wood, using wood flour. Wood flour is a  fine sawdust like powder made from pulverized wood. A year ago Open3D student Meghan Trainor started doing tests on 3D printing in wood. Later on students  Juliana Meira do Valle and Kate Lien took over the experiments and worked to improve the results. The team now 3D print in black walnut shell flour, pecan shell flour, wood bark flour & wood flour. The team uses a powder based 3D printer which is basically a hacked version of a commercial system.  In this case the team has used UF glue as a binder. The recipe for 3D printing in wood is to use 4 to 5 parts wood or nut flour and 1 part UF glue. The initial results are intriguing  and prove once again that the Open3DP team is really pushing the envelope on hacking and improving 3D printers and 3D printing materials. The team is working on the AdderFab open source powder based 3D printer, 3D printing ice tea, 3D printing bone and now this. Thank you so much guys!

A mask 3D printed in wood by artist Charlie Wyman.

A test print of 3D printed bones in wood. Photograph by Juliana Meira do Valle.

Via Open3DP.

  • great. FOC fooled me (quite easily since it was on march 31st I was reading the article) but I was really enthusiastic about the development. I want large prints I can make and recycle easily, for testing scale and studying form. Paper pulp and wood seem very promising for this.

    I hope they can get away from using urea formaldahyde glue as the binder. We see more legislation every year in the US limiting or banning its use in commercial wood products.

  • Louis Procell

    Try using cooked flower glue may not be as strong as UF but you can quick dry it and it might work.