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The 3D Printing with Wood Challenge

The 3D Printing with Wood Challenge


What role could wood have in the future of 3D printing?

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The Brief 

As 3D printing technologies advance, there is a role for the development of new sustainable materials and even new processes suited to these materials. We believe there is opportunity for wood and wood-based chemicals to play a unique role in the future of additive manufacturing. However, we are not authorities in the area of 3D printing, we are experts in the area of wood-based science and technology. With your help, we would like to push this topic further and envision the future of wood and additive manufacturing. 

Currently, plastics, metals and ceramics are the most common materials used for 3D printing. The use of wood and its chemicals components are certainly being explored. For example, there is a wood flour and PLA composite filament on the market for use in thermoplastic 3D printing (LAYWOO-3D). There is also some exploratory work being done with very fine wood dust used in a laser sintering process (

We would like to explore areas such as;

composite materials (wood/concrete and wood/plastic),

printing at larger scales (scale of furniture or buildings),

Nano Crystalline Cellulose printing (printing at a nano scale),

biomimicry and new opportunities based on CAD/CAM manufacturing,

‘Laminated Object Manufacturing using wood veneer

‘Outside the Box’ printing (not platform printing in a box).

Some of the challenges that would need to be considered are:

moisture relations/movement,

variable feed stock,

grain direction for strength profile,

durability (resistance to fire, decay and degradation) and


The resulting concepts will be used to spark further R&D and ultimately, help bring the world closer to a renewable built environment of the future.

How this Challenge will Work

The challenge will take place over a seven week period, from January 11th, 2016 to February 26th, 2016. With a final week for voting for the participants choice award.

It will have three phases.

Phase One: Context Building (3 weeks)

Participants will add context to the challenge, anything that might be of interest or add to the understanding of our challenge. This could be comments, documents, links, images or video, the more visual and concise you can be the better. At the end of this phase, the best path forward will emerge and a more focused effort will be started in Phase 2. 

Phase Two: Concept Generation (3 weeks)

The moderators will narrow the focus based on the information shared in phase one and challenge the participants with a specific ask. Participants will submit ideas to solve this ask. We encourage participants to build on each other’s ideas as we hope that this will leverage the ideas and experiences of the community. You are free to modify and improve your own idea right up to the deadline of the concept phase which is February 19th, 2016.

Phase Three: Evaluation and Voting (1 week)

The third phase is the evaluation phase where ideas are evaluated both by the community and the jury.

During each phase, FPIntell moderators will help shape the journey and keep things on track.


Since this challenge stresses collaboration, there are cash prizes for both participation and best concepts. There is $5000CDN total in cash prizes. 

1st Top Collaborator reward $500

2nd Top Collaborator reward $500

Best Concept $2500

Second Best Concept $1500

In addition there will be a Community Choice Recognition Award (no cash is associated with this award).

All winners will receive recognition on this site even after the challenge is over. In addition, winning concepts will be presented to the industry-government bio-products steering committee for consideration for further R&D.

Criteria for Evaluating Concepts

The following criteria will be used by the community and the jury to evaluate the concepts.

How comprehensive and clear is the concept submission?

How well does the concept solve the challenge?

How important is the problem that this concept addresses in the built

environment? (sustainability)

How innovative is the concept?

How well would the concept perform?

Aesthetic Appeal (for appearance products)

Criteria for Evaluating Collaboration

A combination of qualitative and quantitative measurements will be used to evaluate participant collaborative efforts and contributions.

Quantitative evaluation will be things such as; number of comments, number of posts, number of invites to others to join the site, number of iterations, number of times a participant ‘applauds’ another’s posts

Qualitative evaluation will be done by the Challenge managers and be based on the value of comments, posts and ideas 

The Jury

kimball-andersonKimball Anderson – Research Assistant, Mechatronic Sys. Eng. SFU | 3D Print Hub Operator | 3D Printing Educator, Vancouver BC

iain-macdonaldIain Macdonald – Managing Director for the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing Department at UBC

Lyne-Cormier-fpintell-lab-cropDr. Lyne Cormier – FPInnovations: an engineer who is leading the 3D printing research activities which include identifying opportunities 3D printing can bring to the forest sector and building an international collaboration network for 3D printing of wood-based materials.


You must be registered to the FPIntell LAB to participate. You can do this by clicking the Sign Up tab and finding the ‘3D Printing and Wood Challenge” area. You will be asked to agree to the Terms and Conditions of this challenge. As a member of a project, you will have full access to the interactive features of that event. You will be able to submit concepts, comment on, read, evaluate and be a candidate for the rewards.


The 3D Printing and Wood Challenge is interested in the area of 3D printing. To be eligible to take part in the Challenge, Participants must be age 18 or older at the beginning of the Challenge. Employees of FPInnovations and its affiliates, and their immediate families (defined as husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, or persons residing in the household of such employees), and anyone else professionally connected with the Challenge are also eligible for participation. Employees of FPInnovations are however not eligible to receive any of the prizes. FPInnovations reserves the right to verify the eligibility of Participants and check their identity.

Terms and Conditions

All intellectual property rights to the concepts (e.g. text, graphics, images, illustrations, etc.) presented by you as part of this challenge belong to you. FPInnovations has first rights to negotiate with any participant for exclusive rights. We also ask that participants do not post any concept that is not their original work and/or that could belong to a third party by contractual or employment obligations.

The two winning participants of this challenge agree to assign their rights to FPInnovations on ideas and concepts that they post on the site. Non-winners retain their rights but give a free, non-exclusive license to FPInnovations, which means they are free to further develop, license or commercialize their concept or idea. We also ask that participants do not post any concept that is not their original work and/or that could belong to a third party by contractual or employment obligations.

How to Upload a Concept

From within the project, click on the ‘Upload Concept’ button.

Name your concept

Describe your concept (less than 300 words) citing materials used, the functional aspects of your concept and the main benefits of the concept including how it solves the challenge and how it solves important issues in the built environment.

Add supporting images using the following file formats JPEG, GIF or PNG, maximum file size is 3 Mb, maximum file count in each post is 5 (five).

Add supporting information as a PDF.

You may add links to web pages or videos.


This challenge is sponsored by FPInnovations. FPInnovations is among the world’s largest private, not-for-profit forest research centres.