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The 3D Printing with Wood Challenge: How can the attributes of wood best be leveraged in additive manufacturing/3D printing to create larger scale objects such as furniture and buildings? Review challenge details here.

First Prize (tie) $2500 CDN

Creating a Net Zero Ready House With 3D Printed Panels

3D printing can be applied to produce wood framed houses as an alternative to conventional stick frame construction. This is now possible because there are a variety of resources that could make this a reality…

 

Wood Wool Cement Rope

Wood wool cement board is a versatile building material made from wood wool (excelsior) and cement.  The main characteristics are: fire resistance; wet and dry rot resistance; freeze-thaw resistance…

 

First Prize (tie) 1. "Creating a Net Zero Ready House with 3D Panels" Read More...

First Prize-1 $2500 CDN

Creating a Net Zero Ready House With 3D Printed Panels

3D printing can be applied to produce wood framed houses as an alternative to conventional stick frame construction. This is now possible because there are a variety of resources that could make this a reality.

3D printing can be applied to produce wood framed houses as an alternative to conventional stick frame construction. This is now possible because there are a variety of resources that could make this a reality. Our concept at Footprint Sustainable Housing includes using waste wood from deconstructed houses, bio-based adhesive, 3D printing equipment, and charring of the exterior side of the completed panels. The design and composition of the panels give them the strength to be used as structural, load-bearing units. Our goal is to eliminate as many materials as possible in comparison to a standard panel used for residential construction.

There are a number of specifications to take into consideration when planning to use 3D printing to construct panels to meet/exceed industry standards. If a 3D printer could create a wall or roof structure, it needs to keep moisture from entering the wall assembly and the exterior skin should defend against the elements (ie. UV/sun exposure, wind, rain, and snow).  An energy efficient house also requires a higher level of air tightness. Another issue that a high performance wall needs to address is to reduce thermal bridging. The materials that are currently applied in the standard wall assembly deal with the above issues. So could a 3D panel comprised of wood work?

Please refer to the attachment and continue reading about our concept…

First Prize (tie) 2. "Wood Wool Cement Rope" Read More...

First Prize-2

Wood Wool Cement Rope

Wood wool cement board is a versatile building material made from wood wool (excelsior) and cement.  The main characteristics are: fire resistance; wet and dry rot resistance; freeze-thaw resistance; termite and vermin resistance; thermal insulation and acoustic absorbance.

JUST A THOUGHT…….

What if we twisted a rope out of wood wool and cement powder, much like a twine, then used steam/water to activate the concrete as we lay out the composite rope using computer controlled placement?  Rollers could be used to pull the rope into place as well as compressing the rope into a rectangular cross section, as opposed to round.  Twisting the rope creates a tremendous amount of internal tension/compression.

One MAJOR drawback is trying to control moisture loss, so that the concrete can cure properly over time.

Think of this as a combination of the material simplicity of a mud and straw house brought together with the geometric complexity of a termite mound.  I offer a few images from my first kick at the can….

The rope is light and surprisingly strong, yet very pliable before curing.

 

Second Prize $1500 CDN

Stratified Additive Manufacturing (SAM) Using Wood Veneer

Wood grows naturally to its final dimensions.  There has been no way to produce objects from trees without subtraction of material.  To use this material for additive manufacturing, it must be redu…

Second Prize - "Stratified Additive Manufacturing (SAM) Using Wood Veneer" - Read More...

Second Prize $1500 CDN

Stratified Additive Manufacturing (SAM) Using Wood Veneer

Wood grows naturally to its final dimensions.  There has been no way to produce objects from trees without subtraction of material.  To use this material for additive manufacturing, it must be reduced to usable micro-layers which can be then laminated to re-grow it into shaped 3D objects.  This is logical.

Veneer has often been laminated into blocks.  Then it can be routed into objects via subtraction.  The Concept of additive mfg. using veneer has very strictly guided options.  In order to offer a concept, I am first trying to highlight some problems.

The idea of Laminated Objects is not an impossible process, but each component compounds problems that need expensive, complex solutions themselves.  The need to simplify comes from understanding what the problems are…

WITH AN EXAMPLE of a window frame of 8′ x 4′:  The bulk of the object is “air” or the empty space inside the solid portion of the frame. If built from sheets of veneer there would be need to “cut out” the inner portion [See sketch].

Problem 1 – waste of material + Problem 2 – handling of cut-out material waste + Problem 3 – management system for reuse / recycling.  Problem 4 – the “pressing” of layers would result in bent corners due to high pressure requirements of the roller system.  This gets worse with pressing over grooves.  Problem 5 – With wood grain going all in one direction the result is bowing of the entire frame.

Problem no. 6 – “Additive Manufacturing” (AM) is the umbrella term under which 3D Printing is one type of process from many others.  Without having any standard international definition, what is common to AM “wasted material is a small proportion of the produced volume”.  With the example of the window frame, Laminated Object Making may not really be an additive process.

This system, is very similar to MCOR’s paper lamination. Speaking to Dr. McCormack in 2013 about the breath of their patent, I learnt that it could possibly prevent IP on similar processes using veneer. That itself could be Problem no. 7.  Their website : http://mcortechnologies.com   One of their videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVzRyKxD6Zc

Our team at 4 AXYZ dealt with these problems in 2012 and cleaned up a process that also uses veneer.  The key is how we minimize waste by using only “a slight excess” of the material required. We achieve the grain direction for visuals + cross-lamination to avoid bowing.  The technology is simple because there is no usable waste.  The slight excess use of material is to allow tolerance for 5-AXIS milling so the object is finished in an automated CNC process.  With SAM (which is the patent-pending process of 4 AXZY), we believe we have simplified the total concept from CAD drawing files to finished object – fully automated.

This bring us to the Concept we are introducing.  The SAM process is not restricted by sizes currently required in the building or construction industry, or for small decorative objects.  The larger the machine bed, the larger the object we can produce.  Our Italian machine manufacturer produces 16M long x 4M wide (52.5’ x 13.1’) machine beds for XLAM production.  We can readily use that bed size and extend the size of the product which can be made using the SAM process.

The process uses wood veneer and the machine currently planned will use 1.0mm material.  As we go forward, our hope is to increase variability from 0.3mm to 3.0mm thickness of raw material.  The veneer is not wasted by cutting out of sheets.  It is “drawn out” or extruded by the machine’s selection tool (hardware + software process) in the required width.  It is then pressed in the cross directions and with overlaps so the object is strong with the final layers in the direction required for visual benefit. The machine is a two-part operation, including the 3D build and 5-AXES milling.  This ensures fine finish of the built object to accuracy of 0.1mm.

The footstool shown, uses the SAM process.  This is an early prototype produced in 2013.  The leg-frames on both sides are single monolithic objects, as one-piece instead of four.  The top is screwed on by a 16-year-old, so it requires no special talent for joinery, planing, and levelling since the process is entirely digital.  3 pieces constitute the stool, instead of 9.

For large scale wood products and building components,  the SAM Process should be the concept of choice.  More general information is available athttp://www.4axyz.com

Top Collaborator Awards ($500 CDN each)