Bay Area professors use 3D printer to divert sawdust from landfill & create sustainable products
Berkeley; Calif. — Two Bay Area college professors and co-inventor are creating sustainable products using upcycled sawdust.
Forust aims to divert sawdust from the landfill to create products for the automotive and architectural industry.
“We have been experimenting for a very long time with ways to take alternative materials instead of plastics and use them in additive manufacturing,” said Ronald Rael, Co-founder of Forust. “We’ve experimented with a number of recycled materials, but sawdust is one that we have been developing for a number of years and it is such an available material.”
Bay Area college professors, Ronald Rael, Chair of the Department of Architecture at UC Berkeley and Virginia, Chair of the Department of Design in the College Humanities of Arts at San Jose State University have teamed with 3D printing Entrepreneur, Andrew Jeffery, to innovate a new way to contribute to the additive manufacturing industry.
“Forust is an additive industry where were starting with all of those pieces and parts and we are adding them together to make new products. Rather than start with the forest, we start with the waste,” said Rael. “The interesting thing about 3D printing is that we can make any kind of product out of wood waste because we can make any kind of shape.”
The technology company was inspired by the forest for their company name.
“The idea of forest with a “u” is that we think that the forests are for us,” said Rael. “Us meaning the planet. We are striving to think about alternative ways to make wood products by upcycling sawdust instead of cutting down trees.”
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, over 1.2 million square feet of forests are destroyed each year.
“When you imagine the amount of waste that is produced every year around the world in terms of wood waste or construction. You can just imagine the possibilities of what could be done with that instead,” said Rael. “Forust is an additive industry where were starting with all of those pieces and parts and we are adding them together to make new products.”
Forust actively works with “lots of sawdust” and uses 3d printers to transform the dust into many different kinds of products.
“Were really excited to be at the forefront of a new way of thinking about how you make things in the world,” said Rael. “Using a new kind of technology and the impact that the technology will have on the future of our planet.”
For more information, visit the Forust website website.
A 3D printed shift knob. Image courtesy of Desktop Metal.