RAFA - Additive fabrication of components from waste wood

The aim of the project is to develop a sustainable, robot-assisted additive manufacturing process for the production of circular, fire-resistant wall constructions with insulating properties based on reclaimed wood particles.

Due to changes in the Renewable Energy Act (2017), several million tons of reclaimed wood are generated as waste annually. Within the scope of the research project, the waste product reclaimed wood is to be sustainably and automatically recycled in a zero-waste process to create vertical or free-form load-bearing and non-load-bearing wall constructions with integrated functionalities for installation management. Accessing residual streams will conserve valuable resources, avoid interference with nature, and simultaneously reduce waste production, thereby addressing prevailing material scarcity and making an effective contribution to combating climate change.

In fundamental studies, it shall be demonstrated how material formulations already developed in the field, based on waste wood particles and supplemented with sustainable biogenic binders, can be newly manufactured as resulting pasty material using robot-assisted additive manufacturing processes and can be transitioned into new circular construction applications that can be used in the future as a supplement or alternative to 3D concrete printing. At the end of their lifecycle, the components can be recycled and reused in a sorted manner. By abstaining from harmful additives, the components can also be reused and reshaped, creating a closed material cycle. The sustainability of the process will be assessed through life cycle assessments.

Advantages over conventional timber construction include precise automated construction and deconstruction processes through digitized pre-planning for realizing complex constructions.