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Sustainable structures made of 3D printed wood

Mexico-based company MANUFACTURA and furniture and design workshop La Metropolitana created 3D printed objects made of wood.

The project, called The Wood Project or Un Proyecto de Madera, aims to reduce the amount of sawdust created in woodworking projects. La Metropolitana generates daily over 200 kilograms of sawdust. In the project, this sawdust is repurposed to make 3D printed structures.

To make the structures, a bio-composite of mainly sawdust is made. The chosen re species is the Tzalam tree (Lysiloma latisiliquum), which is native to southeast Mexico and is highly valued in the Mayan region for its appearance and hardness. The wood itself is distinguished by its understated appearance, pronounced grains, and a reddish colour. The composite matrix is based on organic binders and lime to avoid humidity and fungal development. The material has an average resistance comparable to fired clay bricks.

The team then proceeded into 3D printing three architectonic scale partition walls, consisting of 72 pieces of 20×20 cm. The printing process took three weeks, alternating between printing and drying. The pieces can be easily replicated and assembled, allowing for element scaling.

The printed partition walls are 15 kilograms each, while each brick weighs 207 grams.