by General Fabb
Wood, the most historical building material - but can you 3D print in wood? Not so much, but some are trying different approaches. Another interesting wood experiment was done by artist and maker Ben Godi, who combined 3D printing and woodworking to produce some amazing models.
Godi's fascinating "production pipeline" first involves creating an attractive 3D model. This is then prepped for 3D printing and indeed produced at high resolution. Godi prefers 3D printing initial prototypes in sandstone, and his final model in laser-sintered polyamide.
But it isn't the final model. It might be best termed the "master" model because it is then used on his Pantograph machine. It's an array of milling elements hooked up to an armature that performs 3D tracing from a master object. An operator (in this case, Godi himself) painstakingly moves a tracer along the curves of the master print while the milling elements move in parallel to cut the identical pattern out of wood. Soon he's completed cutting of multiple wood duplicates of the original, which can be finished in the typical woodworking manner.
We asked Godi why this approach was developed:
The production pipeline already existed for years. Until now we always used bronze models on the pantograph. This new method allows changes on the sculpture until it gets printed.
So if you really want a 3D print in wood, this could be a way to achieve it. If you have a Pantogram, that is.
Via Ben Godi