In the last few years, 3D printing has made inroads into the world of architecture and the construction process. The next step into the future has already been taken with the University of Idaho (USA) studying the use of a new composite from wood waste that will make sustainable construction possible.
The US university project will continue its research into using biocomposites to build large structures until 2025. This biomaterial will combine bio-based elements such as sawdust and waste from the timber and construction industries to offer a viable alternative to concrete.
Once the right mix has been found in terms of strength and durability, a state-of-the-art 3D printer created specifically for the project will produce the material. The hope is that this new natural material will enable modular wall, ceiling, and floor panels to be manufactured quickly and efficiently.
Similar technology is already in use, as seen in the Idaho Central Credit Union Arena, a four-thousand-seater sports centre made almost entirely of manufactured wood. Another is the Rocket Tigerli building (100 m), the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper, which is being built in the Swiss city of Winterthur and is scheduled for completion in 2026.