Forust 3D gives new life to wood scraps

The American company Forust 3D was founded with the mission of making high-volume wood 3D printing affordable, reliable and sustainable. It does this by leveraging the speed, precision and quality of the binder jetting process to produce strong, lightweight wood components. Two wood wastes, sawdust and lignin, are used as printing material for this purpose. Forust 3D aims to contribute to responsible materials value chains that will ultimately achieve net zero carbon.

This is particularly important because, according to the company, 15 billion trees are cut down every year to make paper, build houses and make furniture. This is equivalent to 84 million tons of sawdust per year. Some of this waste is recycled and sold in downstream markets to make particle board or wood pellets for energy purposes, but the opportunities for recycling this waste are plentiful and offer unimaginable possibilities.

Photo credits: Forust 3D

Additive manufacturing and Forust 3D

Forust 3D uses high-speed 3D printing to breathe new life into these discarded resources. The company produces strong, beautiful and environmentally friendly wooden products from wood waste. The manufacturing process used was developed by Desktop Metal, which acquired Forust in 2021, and is based on the use of industrial sawdust waste as a 3D printing material for mass production in furniture, architecture, consumer goods and even luxury car interiors.

The company uses small and large format binder jet printers to manufacture its products. This makes it possible to manufacture products at different scales, as small printers are used for batch production and larger ones for mass production. The printing process begins with the application of sawdust to the build plate, then the machine’s inkjet nozzles move over the material to distribute lignin as a binder and ink for visual effect . This is also one of the particularities of the Forust 3D printing process. In terms of the materials used, no additional adhesive needs to be used as lignin from waste wood is used as a binder, which creates another environmental benefit.

Photo credits: Forust 3D

Forust 3D’s binder jetting process not only offers the ability to print smooth, grain-free wood surfaces, but also implements never-before-seen technology that simulates the grain of real wood through a wood product. This effect can make the final product almost indistinguishable from natural wood. This can be of particular interest to designers, as it allows them to create complex organic shapes that would be more difficult or nearly impossible to achieve with ordinary wood fabrication.

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*Cover photo credits: Forust 3D

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