Sustainable alternatives in 3D printing

Wood-based cellulose fibres have been integral to printed materials for centuries. Until recently, they were found in newspapers or office paper rather than moulds, furniture or architectural models. Today, however, 3D printing presents exciting and unexpected new end-uses.

Up until recently, 3D printers have tended to use composite materials that mix PLA plastic with materials such as glass fibre for added strength and stability. However, these composites are not always versatile enough for high definition moulds and there are issues with recyclability.



Versatile material with high performance

UPM Formi 3D brings the unique functionality and aesthetic qualities of wood-based cellulose fibres into 3D printing. Combining sustainable bio-based plastic with these fibres brings new technical advantages and added value to both large-scale additive manufacturing and smaller-scale desktop printing.

As a drop-in material, UPM Formi 3D opens up new possibilities without the design limitations that come with less versatile materials. Cellulose stabilises the 3D printing process thus making the material reliable in terms of printing performance. The material adds a wood-like touch and composition that is adaptable to high-definition details while remaining non-toxic and odourless.



New opportunities in mould making and design

The arrival of UPM Formi 3D brings significant time and cost savings to casting mould applications. Previously, production of casting moulds required long lead times and a significant amount of waste was generated by CNC milling by the manufacturing process. 3D printing brings an exceptional level of accuracy with no wastage and faster production. Mould weight is reduced up to 80% and local manufacturing leads to savings in transportation costs.

UPM Formi 3D’s wood-like post processing makes it suitable for replacing wood or plywood in more complex structures. It opens up new possibilities for sustainable furniture, offering a natural wood-like touch and colours with a freedom of design.


UPM Formi 3D

  • Superior strength and stability
  • PEFC™ certified
  • Natural wood-like touch and feel
  • No waste generated
  • Non-toxic and odourless
  • Efficient manufacturing without design limitations
  • 100% recyclable

Read more