UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A Design and Fabrication Method for Wood-Inspired Composites by Micro X-Ray Computed Tomography and 3D Printing Tao, Yubo; Li, Zelong; Li, Peng


Developments in 3D printing and CT scanning technologies have facilitated the imitation of natural wood structures. However, creating composites from the elementary features of anisotropic wood structures remains a new frontier. This paper aims to investigate the potential of constructing and 3D printing mechanically customizable composites by combining anisotropic elementary models reconstructed from the micro X-ray computed tomography (μ-CT) scanning of wood. In this study, an arbitrary region of interest selected from the μ-CT scanning of a sample of Manchurian walnut (Juglans mandshurica) was reconstructed into isosurfaces that constituted the 3D model of an elementary model. Elementary models were combined to form the wood-inspired composites in various arrangements. The surface and interior structures of the elementary model were found to be customizable through adjusting the image Threshold and Surface Quality Factors during 3D volume reconstruction. Compressional simulations and experiments performed on the elementary model (digital and 3D printed) revealed that its compressive behavior was wood-like and anisotropic. Numerical analysis established a preliminary link between the arrangements of elementary models and the compressive stiffness of respective composites, showing that it is possible to control the compressive behaviors of the composites through the design of specific elementary model arrangements.

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