Sustainable green products can be created faster with new technology

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have made progress in 3D printing by producing a wood-based ink that mimics the unique ultrastructure of wood. Their research could mean a breakthrough for the production of green products.

By imitating the natural cellular architecture of wood, they now present the opportunity to create green products, derived from wood, with unique properties. It is about everything from clothes, packaging and furniture to healthcare products.

Can be produced in less time

“This is a breakthrough in manufacturing technology. It takes us beyond what nature has previously allowed, to create new, sustainable green products. This means that the products that are currently produced from forest material can now, in a much shorter time, instead be 3D-printed. Metals and plastics used in 3D printing today can be replaced with a renewable, sustainable alternative”, says Professor Paul Gatenholm, who conducts research at Chalmers, through the Wallenberg Wood Science Center.

Technology opens up entirely new fields of opportunity. Today, the treatment of wood is time-consuming and involves cutting and planing, among other things, for the wood to be designed into products. This technology means that new wood-like products can be designed and “grown” from the bottom up, in a much shorter time than is possible with natural wood.

Read more: Materials from trees assembled by 3D printing – Wood tissue beyond nature limits