Employees of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem showed 3D-printed wooden parts that can be assembled into furniture on their own. This will eliminate the need to assemble shelves or chairs: it will be enough to get the materials out of the package, and they themselves will take the form of the desired thing.
The parts are made from sawdust mixed with cellulose nanocrystals and xyloglucan. The resulting substance is fed into a 3D printer, which prints parts at different speeds, depending on what shape they should take in the end.
While the part is wet, it is flat, and when it dries, it bulges into the shape dictated by the printing method. According to the creators, the new technology will reduce the cost of shipping materials and, of course, their assembly. As a result, the furniture manufacturer will be able to send the client a flat board in sealed packaging. When it is unpacked, it will dry and turn into a curly shelf.
Now the development is at the concept stage. So far, the technology allows only small details to be printed. The material itself also needs to be improved: now it will not be possible to create all the elements for complex objects like chairs from it.
In the future, the authors will refine the directions of the printer’s rays and methods for evaporating moisture from the wood base. The inventors hope that one day they will show a finished piece of furniture made using self-assembly technology. Maybe it will be a chair.
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