Desktop Metal, a global leader in additive manufacturing technologies for mass production, announced on November 1st, 2022, the broad availability of the Shop System™ Forust edition, a binder jet 3D printing system for the high-speed production of functional, end-use wood parts using upcycled sawdust from the wood milling industry.
Binder jetting is a 3D printing process that transforms powdered materials such as metal, sand, ceramic or other powders into highly dense and functional precision parts at high speeds. An industrial printhead selectively deposits a binder into a bed of powder particles, thus creating a solid part one thin layer at a time, just like printing on sheets of paper. The technology is viewed as a desirable and sustainable production method, mainly because of its high speed, low waste and cost, including material flexibility, as demonstrated by the Shop System Forust edition.
In May 2021, the innovative Forust wood printing process was launched with an online storefront serving customers with custom parts and beta printer system deliveries. Now, customers have access to easy-to-use turnkey wood printing systems with the Shop System™ Forust edition. Architects, designers, and manufacturers will be able to produce in-house luxurious custom wood pieces that combine design and functionality for home decor and lighting, consumer products, architectural design, and automotive applications.
Additive manufacturing offers a viable use for wood waste and intricate, complex designs previously unobtainable with traditional subtractive wood processing methods. The Shop System™ Forust edition delivers high-resolution 3D printing of wood parts with realistic grain patterns through advanced printheads and high-speed binder jetting technology.
Key highlights of Shop System™ Forust edition:
- The Fabricate MFG build prep software allows users to print parts with no grain pattern or four-grain patterns that can replicate ash, mahogany, and more.
- Shop System Forust Edition binder jet 3D printer with a build box of 350 x 222 x 200 mm (13.8 x 8.7 x 7.9 in) and a print speed of up to 1,600 cc/hr. That is about 21 mm or ⅘ of an inch in Z-height per hour.
- Forust Powder Station, which allows users to remove printed parts from the build box and recover loose sawdust powder for immediate reuse in the printer.
- Forust Wood Powder is a unique blend of raw or unfinished sawdust from the traditional wood milling industry.
- Forust Binder comes in clear and brown colours to bind wood powder particles and create natural-looking wood grain patterns that flow across the entire part.
- A wood part post-process guide that walks users through a recommended workflow for infiltrating parts after 3D printing with USDA-certified bio-based resins.
After infiltration, Forust parts can be sanded, stained, polished, dyed, coated, and refinished in the same manner as traditionally manufactured wood products. Infiltrated Forust parts have strength similar to traditional wood and can be screwed or nailed.
Currently, the Shop System Forust edition printer processes Desktop Metal-provided wood powders from verified and consistent supply sources. Guidelines for customers to print their own recycled sawdust powders are now in development and will be available in the near future.
“Our new Shop System Forust Edition makes it easy to create custom and complex wood designs with a 3D printer on demand, circumventing supply chain challenges and delivering all-new design possibilities,” said Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “One of the great things about binder jet 3D printing technology is it can transform virtually any powder material into functional, end-use parts. Beginning with an ample supply of sawdust byproduct from the traditional wood milling industry, we are using our technology to build cradle-to-cradle manufacturing for wood. We believe this concept has the ability to deliver a meaningful sustainability impact and expand to other powdered waste materials over time.”