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3D printing machine manufactures solid wood products

Posted: 16 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:4 AXYZ? 3D printing? Industrial Renaissance? wood machine?

4 AXYZ, a company involved additive manufacturing, has developed a technology that would allow it to create the first 3D printing machine to manufacture solid wood products. The company believes that a machine with this potential could radically shift the way we create and buy items crafted out of wood.

4 AXYZ's first 3D printing wood machine would be fairly large to accommodate making some of the big items you would expect to build out of this material. The machine is expected to have a bed of 10 x 5ft and a height of 10ft. The size of the machine would allow production of things such as doors, windows, chair components and even large-scale pieces including cabinets.

Solid wood products

Designers of Things Blog caught up with co-founder and CEO of 4 AXYZ, Samir Shah, who introduced us to the concept of Industrial Renaissance. For Shah, an industrial renaissance is a resurgence of industry back in North America. But it is not the same as the first industrial revolution. Instead of manufacturing the same thing en masse, this new wave of making will allow for a high degree of customisation very akin to the special, unique pieces hand-crafted in the Renaissance. For him, additive manufacturing will allow us to borrow from the Renaissance and do this on an industrial scale.

Shah imagines a world where people will go to a mall and order custom garments or furniture and then walk around and have a bite to eat while it is being printed. In this way, only the raw materials for the maker need to be shipped and stored, which will drastically impact the need for retail real estate and will dramatically change wait time for items that may usually have been bought overseas or in a different area from the buyer.

The flux point for Shah was the Internet, which will enable makers and retailers to download instructions such as CAD files, directly onto a machine to create goods. This allows for goods to be made locally and moves us from a centralized manufacturing model to a distributed one.

When it comes to 4 AXYZ's wood machine, Shah stated that the technology is there to make 3D printing of solid objects happen. His team has tested out its stratified additive manufacturing (or SAM) process and has verified that the technology is where it needs to be to work. But to start to see these machines in various cities across America the team requires funding, which it's actively seeking.

- Tom Emrich
??EE Times

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