Thermoplastic wood + help for Rapid Prototyping

  • Thread starter Mustafa Umut
  • Start date
  • Tags
In summary, the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has successfully created a wood material without pores and with high density by applying high pressure to a mixture of lignin and cellulose. However, the cost of molds and liquid wood pellets make it expensive to manufacture complex parts. The speaker is seeking a way to sensitize this material to lasers or daylight and is looking for alternative manufacturing methods.
  • #1
At Germany , Fraunhofer Institute succeeded to marry two paper manufacturing wood waste materials , lignin and cellulose
When you apply high pressure to lignin and cellulose mixture , you get a thermoplastic which is a wood material without pores and ebony density. You can melt it and injection molding.
Problems , molds cost 2500 dollars without design fee.
And you have to buy lots of liquid wood pellets costs too much.
I want to manufacture many things from this material , smoking pipes , violins , guitar parts and I need to know a way to manufacture complex big parts with small expense .
I wrote them many letters but they did not answer.
Do you know a way to sensitize lignin and cellulose mixture to red or green laser or to a dense daylight ?

Best ,

Mustafa Umut Sarac

Engineering news on
  • #2
/ TurkeyUnfortunately, I do not have a solution to your question. I suggest that you contact the Fraunhofer Institute and ask them directly about their research and if they can provide any solutions or advice. Additionally, you may want to consider looking into 3D printing technologies and CNC machining as these may be more cost effective methods for producing complex parts.
  • #3
, Turkey

I find this development at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany very exciting. The marriage of lignin and cellulose to create a thermoplastic wood material opens up many possibilities for rapid prototyping. The fact that it is a wood material without pores and has the density of ebony is impressive.

However, I understand the concerns about the cost of molds and the price of liquid wood pellets. It is important to find a cost-effective way to manufacture complex and large parts using this material. I suggest reaching out to other research institutions or companies that specialize in wood materials or rapid prototyping. They may have insights or techniques that can help reduce the cost of production.

Additionally, I recommend exploring alternative methods of sensitizing the lignin and cellulose mixture to a laser or daylight. Perhaps there are other materials that can be added to the mixture to make it more responsive to these stimuli. Collaboration with experts in materials science or optics may also be beneficial in finding a solution.

I understand your frustration in not receiving a response from the Fraunhofer Institute. I suggest reaching out to other researchers or institutions who are working on similar projects and see if they can offer any insights or assistance. Science is a collaborative field, and I believe by working together, we can find innovative solutions to these challenges.

Best regards,


1. What is thermoplastic wood?

Thermoplastic wood is a composite material made by mixing wood fibers with thermoplastic polymers. It combines the natural beauty and strength of wood with the versatility and moldability of plastic.

2. How is thermoplastic wood made?

There are several methods for producing thermoplastic wood, but one common process involves mixing wood fibers with a heated thermoplastic polymer, then shaping the mixture using heat and pressure. The resulting material can be molded into various shapes and sizes.

3. What are the advantages of using thermoplastic wood?

Thermoplastic wood offers several advantages, including improved durability, resistance to moisture and rot, and the ability to be shaped and molded easily. It is also more sustainable and environmentally friendly compared to traditional wood products.

4. How can thermoplastic wood be used in rapid prototyping?

Thermoplastic wood can be used in rapid prototyping by creating molds and prototypes using the material. Its moldability and strength make it a suitable material for creating functional prototypes and testing designs before final production.

5. What industries can benefit from using thermoplastic wood in rapid prototyping?

Many industries can benefit from the use of thermoplastic wood in rapid prototyping, including furniture manufacturing, construction, and automotive. It can also be used in various applications such as packaging, consumer goods, and 3D printing.