Feb.26, 2014

Usually when we think of materials that can be used in 3D printers, we think of substances like plastic, resin or metal. But now the 3D printing community is toying with wood, a more natural material with a unique aesthetic.

Samir Shah, founder and CEO of 4 AXYZ, is entering the furniture business through 3D printing wood. This secretive startup announced last year that it plans to use 3D printer to deliver custom, affordable wood furniture within days of order.

This week 4 AXYZ reveals its 3D printed furniture at the Launch festival Monday. For example the stool in the image below is printed in three pieces while it might need 8 or 9 pieces using traditional method. 4 AXYZ's printing technique uses "involves adapting an existing German woodworking machine to operate in 3D. It works by combining small, uniformly cut pieces of wood." Shah said to Gigaom. The big secret is how to cut the wood and layer the wood together.

This process minimizes the high labor cost and offers consumers an affordable way to get customizable furniture. Consumers would have a choice to use different material, different color, to add any kind of personlized details. Using this technique designers would be allowed to tweak, change, modify their design simply in the CAD software. It would be much easier for interior designers to customize furniture orders.

Complex intelligent 3D printed oak window. multi-material construction.

Real Canadian oak wood moulding using 3D printing process.

A more exciting possibility is to be able to print "smart wood" for home automation. 4 AXYZ has also begun working with A Catedral, a Portuguese home company developing energy efficient smart window that can change their tint and color in response to light, offering a method to embed electronics directly in wood.

Fine maple cut-away L-frame made additively. Electronics & metal cased in insulating wood.

Shah said 4 AXYZ could eventually print "smart wood" embed electronics which has embedded sensors capable of detecting people and atmospheric or temperature change.

4 AXYZ is currently seeking funding to prototype and build its own specialized machine. "We believe that 4 AXYZ is the first to offer an opportunity to investors, encompassing new lines of machinery, radically different processes, software creation, and applications of the product, along with a platform to transact commercially." says the company.


Images credit: 4 AXYZ

Posted in 3D Printing Technology


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CNC Pro wrote at 8/25/2017 11:28:10 AM:

Its not 3D printed.... its CNC cut. Noobs

francesco wrote at 2/28/2014 2:27:36 PM:

Yes jd90..I also thought that is a sort of LOM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laminated_object_manufacturing ..probably is a stratification of pre-cut shapes of wood, nothing of special, but this kind of results it is a very difficult technical challenge in terms of automation I'm curious to see how is possible..

jd90 wrote at 2/26/2014 6:01:29 PM:

I call BS. Maybe there's some additive going on, but it sure doesn't sound or look like 3D printing. Layering wood is apparently a strikingly new process, to make what looks like plywood. Additive via a assembling a series of what looks like subtractively machined parts.

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