If you follow this site regularly, you know I’m a big believer in 3D printing as one of the major technological movements of the 21st century. We’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg with this budding technology these days, but in 10 years, I bet that 3D printed products and parts will be as ordinary as stuff coming off of assembly lines. As printers get more accurate, faster, come down in price, and can handle new materials, adoption will grow, and soon enough we’ll be printing parts for our cars, houses and bodies using these incredible technological marvels. So when I saw that there’s now a 3D printing material that lets you output wood parts, I was even more excited.
This material, called LAYWOO-D3 is made from 40% recycled wood, along with binding polymers to hold it together. It’s loaded into a 3D printer as a thin filament, and when printing is complete, it forms a wooden surface not dissimilar from pressboard.
You can even cut it with a saw, grind it or paint it – though it’s not clear how smooth you could make it with sanding. Depending on the temperature you print it at, the color of the wood can vary as well.
While it’s not exactly the finest quality wood, it’s still really cool that you can print wooden components. At this point, the material appears to be designed for the RepRap 3D printer, though it’s not out of the question that it could be used with other devices like the MakerBot Replicator 2. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can purchase it in small quantities from eBay or direct from German RepRap.