Shaping the future with 3D printing; opportunities for the forest industry?
(Stockholm, Sweden, 07 February 2017) 3D printing is emerging as one of the game changers of the past few years. The potential for these technologies, also called “additive manufacturing,” has gone beyond prototyping: 3D printing is now an exciting area that is opening broad possibilities for engineering and design manufacturing. But where are the opportunities for the forest industry? This is what FPInnovations will be exploring on February 15, 2017 in Montréal during a one-day workshop on 3D printing presented as part of the BIOFOR International Conference hosted by PAPTAC.
Additive manufacturing processes consist of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file by depositing successive layers of material from the bottom up until the final result is obtained. Resulting objects can be as big as a house or as small as a hearing aid. Over the last few years, FPInnovations researchers have focused on developing different materials that can be used to create such objects and scoping potential applications for products from the forest industry. Does 3D printing hold opportunities for both traditional and advanced wood-based materials and biomaterials being produced by our industry? Can the forest industry leverage these emerging manufacturing platforms to produce new products or gain efficiencies?
The 3D printing workshop will be co-chaired by FPInnovations’ Lyne Cormier, Research Leader, and Joe Aspler, recently retired Senior Scientist, and will feature a dozen presentations from Canadian and international specialists. FPInnovations colleagues Gary Li and Xuejun Zou will join the co-chairs in summarizing the worldwide effort on exploring potential applications of forest-based biomaterials and discussing the technical challenges of developing feedstock formulations from forest-based materials. The keynote speaker, Skylar Tibbits, co-director of MIT’s self-assembly laboratory, will take the audience one step beyond 3D printing. Mr. Tibbits is shaping the next development, which he coined 4D printing in his 2013 TED talk, where the 3D-printed objects can reshape themselves or self-assemble over time.
All attendees interested in 3D printing are invited to participate in the discussions. The workshop is included in the registration for the BIOFOR International conference.
www.bioforinternational.com (Source: press release)