3D printing has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing, but with nearly all of it done through the use of plastics so far, itâ€™s really not all that sustainable. Thatâ€™s why a new material made from 40% recycled wood and 60% polymer binders is a positive bump for the process, and if it works out well, could be the start of something even better.
Created in Germany by Kai Parthy, LAYWOO-D3 can be loaded into RepRap printers as a 3mm thin filament, resembling pressboard once it is printed. It has the smell, look, and feel of traditional wood, meaning the plywood-like maerial can be printed to exact specifications without the use of saws and belt sanders, saving lots of time and extra work, not to mention waste.
The final product varies in color according to the printing temperature, giving the look of tree rings and other natural variations. It can be sanded and carved, and is guaranteed to be warp-free. It is not a replacement for hard wood, but is a better alternative to the plastic substrates used in most 3D printing. It also seems like a great way to recycle wood waste.
At present, supplies are limited, and apparently available for sale on eBay or the RepRap website for about $19.
What kind of products would you like to see made with this?