Usually when we think of materials that can be used in 3D printers, we think of substances that can be melted, like plastic or resin. What we don't think of is wood. Nonetheless, a new product allows users to create 3D-printed wooden objects ... depending on how you define “wooden.”
Known as LAYWOO-D3, the material was created by inventor Kai Parthy. It’s made up of 40 percent recycled wood fiber, combined with a polymer binder. Like other printing materials, it comes in filament spools that are fed into the printer, where they’re melted and subsequently extruded.
Objects made with the material reportedly won’t warp, and can be painted, ground or cut like wood. It will take on a different shade of brown, depending on the temperature at which it’s printed – this means that by intentionally varying that temperature, users can simulate a tree’s growth ring effect.