Reimagining Molded Wood, Part 2

In our last post, we discussed our blue sky research combining molded plywood and 3D printing [if you missed it, read all about that here]. We explained our process for integrating wood and plastic pieces – as task that would be difficult (if not impossible) to complete using traditional manufacturing methods such as injection molding.

The directions we have explored to date have uncovered some interesting properties that lend themselves to the development of new products. Some are easy to picture in an architectural paneling product or even as part of furniture design. Imagine, for example, a construction such as the one shown in the video above used as a finish veneer on wood furniture. The 3D printed protrusions, with modifications to make them flexible or even soft, could become an integrated, dimensional "upholstery". This raises the possibility of a line of furniture that incorporates both traditional and rapid manufacturing methods to provide customized aesthetic or ergonomic benefits to individual people.

Our current experiments are just the first steps towards exciting new applications for molded wood and plastic – and perhaps other materials as well. Stay tuned!

Carol Catalano