3D Printing ProcessesSustainability

UPM demonstrates large scale robotic 3D printing of wood polymer composites

The granules used are made of of 100% recyclable UPM Formi biocomposite

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

UPM, a Finnish biopolymer specialist, is demonstrating large scale robotic 3D printing of wood composite applications, using its granulate biocompatible cellulose material. The project was developed in collaboration with ABB and Prenta and is being presented at the Nordic 3D Expo in the Espoo Dipoli Congress Centre.

Large scale granulate-based 3D printing opens new possibilities for designers and manufacturers. The robot-based granulate printing enables time- and cost-efficient fabrication of large-scale 3D parts with short lead-time. Potential business areas include for example furniture design, molding and marine industry applications.

“An industrial robot printing together with UPM Formi 3D biocomposite enables large components to be 3D printed with high geometrical tolerances. The PrentaRobo is designed for the manufacturing industry as a tool to create new and cost-efficient products,” says Riku Rusanen, CEO of Prenta Finland.

robotic 3D printing of wood

ABB Robotics has played an important role in developing the innovative robot-based 3D printing system. ABB is the leading supplier of industrial robots and robot software, equipment and complete application solutions.

“This is a pioneering technological innovation that represents the next level in large scale industrial 3D printing. We’ve made possible to use an extrusion head in our IRB6700  6-axis robot to create a 3D printing system that’s ideal for very precise and large scale additive manufacturing. External axes and track-motion have been added to achieve an even bigger working area. Users can then control the extrusion head and create printing paths with our 3D simulation program RobotStudio, the industry’s leading PC-based solution for offline programming, configuration and virtual commissioning,” says Pasi Kukkonen, Product Manager, ABB Oy Robotics.

Evolving biocomposite technology

UPM Formi 3D grades been specially developed for 3D printing. The material brings together advanced cellulose fiber and biopolymer technologies. UPM Formi 3D is produced and sold in granule form directly for fused granular fabrication (FGF) or to producers of 3D filaments. Granulate based printing with ABB industrial robot together with UPM biocomposite has been implemented in Sweden by the 3D makerspace The Wood Region.

“Together with our partners, we are exploring the new possibilities in the field of large scale 3D printing,” said Eve Saarikoski, Applications Manager, UPM Biocomposites. “Large scale 3D printing technology is fast evolving and we are part of the evolution with our biocomposite technology offering new wood-based materials for the markets,”

UPM Formi 3D’s low shrinkage and self-supporting melt flow up to enable printing up to 75°C, ensuring that large objects with round or other complex shapes can be printed without warpage issues, even directly onto a plywood surface. Wood like post-processing of prints is another benefit of the biocomposite: prints can easily finished by conventional wood processing methods.  UPM Formi 3D grades are 100% recyclable and also available with FSC® and PEFC(TM) certification.

Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services


Join our 12,000+ Professional community and get weekly AM industry insights straight to your inbox. Our editor-curated newsletter equips executives, engineers, and end-users with crucial updates, helping you stay ahead.