Macadamia shells are already used as a biofuel. Australian researchers are now proposing to use the nut’s extraordinary properties as a basic element in a new Microtimber, made using pioneering 3D-printing technology. Until now, this technology has been primarily used for small-scale, industrial design products.
A research team led by University of Sydney architecture and engineering experts has received funding to investigate ways to 3D-print a new gradient timber panel using forestry waste and by-products, including the discarded shells of the popular Australian bush nut.
The three-year study, partially funded by Forest and Wood Products Australia, aims to break new ground in the use of agricultural waste and 3D printing, which has the potential to revolutionise Australia’s building industry. Dr Sandra Löschke, Director of Architecture, Design and Technology and co-leader of the research team, says that the innovative work lies in the micro-layering and fusing of different 3D-printed timber compositions, to provide a unique material and geometric gradient suitable for large-scale building projects. … (read more)