Unlocking the Power of Natural Wood: The Next Generation of Ultralight, High-Performance Materials

The companies who make our built world with lightweight structural materials are struggling to find sustainable replacements. This video from the Biomimicry Institute shows how, as a solution, 2022 Ray of Hope Prize® Participant Strong By Form has created design-to-manufacturing technology that aims to bring the natural intelligence of tree structures to engineered wood. These innovators combine digital design, structural optimization and digital fabrication to produce structural wood-based composite parts. This process enables freeform lightweight parts capable of replacing materials with higher CO2 footprints such as concrete or steel on diverse applications.

For example, their solution--what they call a Woodflow-composite slab--aims to save up to 30% of concrete and 70% of wood compared to conventional timber-concrete composite slabs. Likewise, they are working on bringing optimized rigid nodes connectors in Woodflow so that the use of metals on frame joints can be avoided. This would result in structurally more integrated joints that could be lighter, 100% wood-based and with lower CO2 footprint.

Watch the video below to learn more.