Created by the founders of pioneering 3D printing companies, Figulo, Boston Ceramics and Emerging Objects, FORUST is a wood technology company that brings together 21st century design and manufacturing expertise to promote healthy forests and durable interiors.
FORUST has decades of collective experience in additive manufacturing, materials research and computer aided design. The founders created FORUST to change the way we make wood, using non-destructive methods for the ecology of the planet. Instead of starting with forests, Forust starts with sawdust and ends with forests.
The products are largely based on the extensive research conducted by Emerging Objects over the past decades into the binder jet of sawdust, leading to geometrically intricate and elegantly finished structures, including tiles, blocks and panels. .
Emerging Objects is the creative think tank led by architects Virginia San Fratello and Ronal Rael. San Fratello is the chair of the design department at San Jose State University in Silicon Valley and also serves as the Creative Director at Emerging Objects. Ronald Rael is professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. At FORUST, San Fratello is the president of the company and RaÃ«l is the COO.
In launching Project FORUST, they have teamed up with fellow American AM industry veteran and 3D printing pioneer Andrew Jeffery, who is the CEO of the new company. Jeffery is the former president of ceramic 3D printing companies Figulo and Boston Ceramics. Previously, he was Director of Ceramic Products at 3D Systems.
At Emerging Objects, San Fratello and Rael conducted research on binder jetting of several materials using Zcorp / 3D Systems binder jetting technology. They have developed a unique expertise in how this process can be harnessed to mass-produce final parts using an unrivaled selection of materials, from ceramics and cement to rubber, sand and even salt, chocolate and sugar. tea (yes, tea). They have used this experience to push the boundaries of materials, design and also, on several occasions, to make social and ethical statements about society and our world in general. Mr. Jeffery is one of the leading experts and innovators in ceramic binder jet – and ceramic 3D printing in general – in North America.
Products include the Sawdust Screen (in the two images at the top of the page), which is made from 3D printed walnut, the surface retaining the layering effect of the additive manufacturing process, simulating the grain of natural wood. The screen is made up of individual 3D printed wooden components that are attached together to form an enclosure and surface of varying dimensions.
The Sawdust Screen is inspired by the vessels found in microscopic analysis of wood anatomy in hardwoods. When viewed from the end grain, the vessels appear to simply be holes in the wood, commonly referred to as pores. In a living tree, the vessels serve as pipes in the trunk, carrying the sap inside the tree. In the Sawdust Screen, the containers serve as an opportunity for visual porosity. The subtle curvature of each container accentuates the openings as convex or concave openings, making the screen both a visual and a haptic experience.
The wood block, in the image above, is an example of 3D printed wood as a possible building material that can be mass-customized. Here too, the additive manufacturing of layers of the Wood Block creates a grain similar to natural wood, while the wood material itself is made from recycled agricultural waste.
Designed by Anthony Giannini, the texture and subtle translucency of the 3D printed wood material gives the material warmth, texture and brightness under certain lighting conditions. It can be used as a curtain wall or as a custom masonry unit. It also highlights Forust’s ultimate goal, which is to preserve the first wood by using wood waste and technology to create new wood products.
The Burl is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in a distorted way. It is commonly found as a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch filled with small knots from dormant buds. A magnifying glass results from a tree undergoing some form of stress. It can be caused by an injury, a virus or a fungus.
In this case, the Burl (in the three images above) is a product of 3D printing of wood, exploring the shapes and thickness possible with this material emerging in additive manufacturing. Like a magnifying glass found in nature, this magnifying glass contains cracks, warping and dense layers of growth rings, a product of the layers of manufacture.
Poroso, also shown mid-page and close-up above, is a block aggregation experiment using a specially formulated wood material. The wood has greater precision and a finer finish than previous formulas. It is also more resistant and can more easily be extracted from the print bed.
Like other wood materials, this formula retains the layering effect of the additive manufacturing process, which simulates the grain of natural wood. Poroso is made from recycled wood fibers and other agricultural waste.