Affordable Rural Housing with 3D Printed Composite Materials Made from Forestry Waste

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Rural communities require affordable housing and a team of Auburn University researchers,

in collaboration with University of Idaho researchers,

is developing an innovative solution by using forestry waste

to create composite materials that can be additively manufactured into strong,

reliable building components.

The Auburn team will focus on bio-resin

development as a feedstock for 3D printing,

while the University of Idaho group will handle the printing.

The National Science Foundation’s Research Infrastructure Improvement

Program is funding the research.
Sustainable adhesives are being developed from renewable forest biomass and other waste resources,

which is another concern of the team.

“The thematic basis of our proposal is to develop

innovative materials

that will be environment-friendly,

less dependent on depleting petroleum

resources and will use natural sources

or waste products with the realization of the impact on the environment that

the current generation of composite materials has at the end of their life,”

Maria Auad, director of the Center Polymer and Advanced Composites at Auburn, explained.
The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University is also involved,

with research focused on nanocellulose synthesis and the mechanical performance of bio-resins in composites

used in the printing process.

“We will make 3D-printed wall panels that can be used in housing and building construction,

” said Professor Brian Via, head of Auburn’s Forest Products Development Center and the project’s primary investigator.

This will enable exact building in a manufacturing environment using sustainable resources that can be transported to the job site.

We can 3D print building components

that can be recycled at the

end of their lives using biobased polymers and fibres.”

Source: Composite Manufacturing

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