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Plywood Printer

3D printed plywood
  [vote for,

Inspired by "Layered Prototyping" and "a fabber but with wood"

The printing system would use sheets of veneer, and glue, as the build materials. The part geometry would be sliced up and cutting patterns generated. An algorithm would be used to arrange the patterns on the veneer to minimize waste and to place successive layers with alternating grain direction. It would need various other 'ware such as laser cutter, vacuum pickup nozzles, vision system, glue printhead...

The result would be like plywood, but in 3D

afinehowdoyoudo, Apr 13 2011

Same thing only using Liquorice The_20Delicious_20S...ot_20of_20Liquorice
[xenzag, Apr 14 2011]


       [+] can we have it so it can curve the layers as well ?
FlyingToaster, Apr 13 2011

       So, what's my percentage again?
not_morrison_rm, Apr 13 2011

       how do you plan to cut complex pieces of expensive veneer without waste? To make an efficient 3d shape you will need thousands of narrow curving pieces of wood. We can minimize waste but it seems that your designs are going to be constrained to geometries that are compatible. That is going to take some serious computing power and a manipulator that can glue the surface, align the veneer sheet in 360*, position it, apply it, cut the profile, and then repeat thousands of times. Really this is going to seem a ridiculous luxury compared with using a recyclable polymer that can be made to look very similar and would have superior wear and strength characteristics. Not saying it wouldn't be cool but you would be essentially wasting 99% of the very high quality veneer and the part that you would be using would be mostly the worst part (the side rather than the face).
WcW, Apr 13 2011

       Veneer doesn't have to be expensive - basic plywood is made from very cheap softwood veneers.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 13 2011

       not of a sort which can be cut into tiny slivers. Even marine grade plywood contains inclusions which would be limiting in this application. The more flawless the veneer the more expensive all the way to expensive linear cabinet veneers that simulate solid wood.
WcW, Apr 13 2011

       Ah, but the idea didn't specify the veneer thickness. The idea says that the result would be "like plywood, but in 3D", which implies that the veneers are like those used to make plywood.   

       Which are cheap.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 13 2011

       What? the reward of knowing that your efforts are being used in a constructive manner not enough ... 15%
FlyingToaster, Apr 13 2011

       And yet, as a building material for 3d structures, relatively expensive MB. We are still talking about processed wood product. If you want to go to the effort of making a 3d wood model by 3d lamination then why not use chipboard or MDF. Why not just sawdust and glue? Stacking up puzzle pieces of perfectly good veneer and wasting the face side just seems fruitless to me.
WcW, Apr 14 2011

       Veneers for plywood do vary quite a bit. Super-thin high-quality slices for Baltic Birch, all the way to knot- ridden D-grade.   

       I invoked magic (to me) software algorithm that would slice up the part, look at the veneer, identify grain direction and knots, and place the patterns side-by-each on the veneer, subject to the constraints that alternating layers have substantially different grain directions and that the edge of any pattern shall not intersect a knot. It's magic to me but I'm sure it could be coded up.   

       Naturally the efficiency of veneer usage would depend on the part geometry, but i think most things wouldn't be too bad.   

       The material would be fairly weak for long skinny features perpendicular to the build direction (think of a chair built up vertically), but that could be compensated by adding holes (with countersinks in the ends) along the axes of the skinny features, in which to insert threaded rod, nuts, and washers.   

       Oh, and [not_morrison_rm], you can have half of the money I make from this idea :)
afinehowdoyoudo, Apr 14 2011

       //why not use chipboard or MDF// Because they're both crap. And because that would make this "moulded glue wood fibre" or something, which is a completely different idea.   

       The idea also doesn't specify //tiny slivers//; I was imagining that this would work on an appropriate scale, i.e. the finest detail reproduced would be on the order of the thickness of the veneers, which could be anything from <1 mm to 100 mm or so.
spidermother, Apr 14 2011

       //you can have half of the money I make from this idea// Swiss bank account details in the post.   

       //and wasting the face side//   

       Is there some kind of Mobius veneer which I seem to have not noticed? Easy fix, middle bit crappy plywood bits, outside, beautifully hand (if the machine has hands) pretty veneer.   

       There is a veneer-eal disease joke in here somewhere, which I can't quite get, luckily for humanity..
not_morrison_rm, Apr 14 2011

       That would involve using skinny, trained fish to ... nah, I aint got nothing neither.   

       There's a lot of room for snazzy software and imaging here, to make best use of whatever shapes of veneer are available, bury defects as you suggest, orient the grain for good strength, etc.
spidermother, Apr 14 2011


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