Introduction: Bending Plywood With 3D Printer

Picture of Bending Plywood With 3D Printer

This is an experiment to bend plywood with 3D printed tool.

I have bent plywood before.The method used at that time is so-called molded plywood.

Apply glue to the plywood, pile several pieces and put them in the mold.

I was surprised at its very simple way.At the same time, I felt it was very hard to make the mold.

Since I was making in a workshop with various tools and facilities,I managed to make it well and I did not have to worry about the noise caused by the tool.

So, I will not try molded plywood at home.

Finally,a beautifully curved plywood and a mold that can only make it are completed.
Unless considering the production and disposal of the mold, the molded plywood is fun and you can easily create curved surfaces.

So I came to wonder if molded plywood could be made easier.

I am not very good at woodworking and I do not have much tools.

But I have a 3D printer. I made a simple tool with a 3D printer.

And with that tool I made this lamp experimentally.

I apologize in advance that English is not my first language

Step 1: Concept

Picture of Concept

First of all, let's briefly explain how to bend.

A mold is necessary for the molded plywood.

(This article is very easy to understand for molded plywood.People who try this experiment should read this article. Especially about veneer.)

https://www.instructables.com/id/Bent-Plywood-Nigh...

Like the attached image, the mold consists of two parts.

I tried to simplify these two.

Make a frame with 1 * 4 spf lumber, and make a curve with a thin PP plate in it. Then put several pieces of plywood with adhesive in the frame.

Finally, put the ball in the gap and inflate it.

In short, it is a molded plywood made by the power of air.

And, this mold is repeatable deformable mold.

You do not need a great workshop or special tool.

Step 2: Materials

Picture of Materials

1×4 SPF lumber

Plywoods / Veneers (When I purchased this, I had it cut to a height of 87 mm at the store)

PP Sheet

M6-110mm bolts and nuts

screw

Step 3: Tools

Picture of Tools

lubber ball (300mm)

pump

tucker

(heatgun or iron)

roller

wood glue

clamp

wood shaver

saw

impact driver

Step 4: 3D Printing

Picture of 3D Printing

First, print a joint that connects spf lumbers.

3D data is here.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2680172

There are two 3D models. 3 pairs are required.

Step 5: What Is This Tool?

Picture of What Is This Tool?

As shown in the photo, fix the parts to the tip of the SPF.

This is the only preparation.

You can make a frame by combining SPF like the photo.

Step 6: Design

Picture of Design

Because this is an experiment, I only want to see if it is possible to bend plywood in this way.

However, it is more fun to make things that can be used at home.

So, I decided to make a lamp that gently shines the room in the corner of the room.

A good thing about this method is that you do not need knowledge of 3D modeling, you can bend the plywood as if you were drawing a sketch.

Without determining the dimensions, I just drew a very rough sketch.

I will decide after bending the details, such as handling the code.

Step 7: Frame

Picture of Frame

Joints move freely.

This time, I need to make a triangle.

I adjusted the size and found the size I wanted to make.

Step 8: Curve

Picture of Curve

Use a sheet of polypropylene to determine the radius of the curve.

When the curve that I want to make is completed, I use tacker to fix the sheet to the board.

That is the completion of the mold. I can make a red line curve with this mold.

Step 9: Pre-Bend(extra)

Picture of Pre-Bend(extra)

In truth, I did not plan to do this work.

However, the 1.6 mm thick plywood I had prepared could not be bent small.

Plywood is only thin wooden film is overlaid with glue.

So I decided to bend the plywood a little in advance by softening the adhesive using a heat gun.

You can do the same thing with an iron.

Step 10: Glue

Picture of Glue

Before applying the glue, make sure that the plywood can fit in the mold without breaking.

Glue are those sold for woodworking. It is not a special glue.

Just apply and pile it. You need to do it quickly.

Using a roller, you can paint the glue very easily, quickly and uniformly.

I put plywood of 1.6 mm thickness on 5 layers.

Step 11: Insert Into Frame

Picture of Insert Into Frame

First, remove the bolt of one joint in advance. Insert the stacked plywood inside, then return the bolt to the original position.

Insert the PP sheet in between so that the plywood will not stick to the SPF.

Step 12: Inflate

Picture of Inflate

Using a vinyl string, hold down the corners, and inflated the rubber ball.

Look into the gaps and check that they are firmly sticking.

Step 13: Wait

Picture of Wait

It is truly a strange sight.

No balls are needed in the unbent portion. I only used 2 small clamps. I put a weight on the bottom.

I left it for 24 hours in this state.

Step 14: Release Air

Picture of Release Air

Step 15: Disassemble Frame

Picture of Disassemble Frame

Step 16: Success?

Picture of Success?

The part using the ball is perfect.

I could not apply a force well to the bent part at the top, so a gap was created.

Anyway, I could bend, so let's complete it.

Step 17: Clamping(Extra)

Picture of Clamping(Extra)

I thought that it might be possible to adhere to the part with a gap, I tried to fix with clamp after applying the glue in the gap.

Step 18: Cutting

Picture of Cutting

Step 19: Shaving

Picture of Shaving

Look at this picture!

I do like this line produced by molded plywood.

Step 20: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

Just put a socket.

For now, I fixed it with double-sided tape.

Step 21: Lighting Up

Picture of Lighting Up

Step 22: Adding Joints(Extra)

Picture of Adding Joints(Extra)

I made three additional joints.

In order to stabilize the frame you will need to create at least one triangle.

As shown in the photograph, when making one turn, it is necessary to align the plywood length beforehand.
It is thin so it is possible to cut easily if there is a cutter.

This form did not require pre-bend.

It seems to be important whether the length is exactly aligned or not.
There was a part which was doing well and a part which was not so. Again, I pinched the failed part with a clamp.

Step 23: Mounting to Wall(Extra)

Picture of Mounting to Wall(Extra)

Step 24: Fusion360(Extra)

Picture of Fusion360(Extra)

I used fusion 360 for the design. This data is a joint only for 1 × 4 lumber, but if you edit the data you will be able to handle lumber of various sizes such as 2 × 4.

Step 25: Enjoy Bending

Picture of Enjoy Bending

This is an experiment, and it can not be said that it was perfect.

There are some problems that need improvement.

However, using the SPF used for the frame, you can make something different by changing the angle and curve. Or you can duplicate the tool.

And, this experiment was done in a small room. There are no special facilities or tools.

Because there is no noise, neighbors do not get angry.

It is fun to bend the plywood without the workshop without the mold.

So, why do not you try it?

There is no need for a great workshop. Plywood can be bent in the living room.

More than anything, not only had my 3D printer run, it was fun to move my hands.

Anyway, enjoy bending.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or opinions, ask me anything.

Comments

jledwards666 (author)2017-12-08

Yikes, Ryo, I thought I was going see see you saw your thumb off in that one video! The way you were going to town on that board and the placement of your left hand made me *very* nervous.

Aside from that, it's a very cool Instructable, thnx for sharing. :-)

agelbert (author)2017-12-04

This is a very impressive and worthy process. I'm sure that many beautiful items can be made using your technique. There is only one thing I would suggest to make your work somewhat easier. Please consider applying an ammonia solution to the wood piece to be bent. This is an old method used by boat builders with to work some fairly thick wooden planks which cannot be bent as easily as thin sheets of plywood.. In fact, if you don't mind some temporary strong odors (which you can wash off after the wood has been shaped), your own urine will work well to soften the wood.

The way the boat builders do it is to immerse the wood sheet or plank in a dilute ammonia solution until it is saturated. This makes the cellulose easily bendable without splitting. Then they remove the wood and place it among vertical wood rollers which can slide sideways to put pressure on the wood piece to be bent. It is an ancient technique. I read about over 20 years ago but have not done it myself.

Good luck with your wood shaping.

Ryo Kosaka (author)agelbert2017-12-06

Thanks for your comment.

That is very interesting information.I am going to try bending with steam in this way, but it seemed that a big pot would be needed. And hot wood will adversely affect the rubber balls and PP sheets.

I did not know bending using ammonia. It seems easier than using glue. I will try. If it goes well, I will add pictures to this article or write a new article.

Thank you!!.

agelbert (author)Ryo Kosaka2017-12-06

You are most welcome. I forgot to mention that the old time fishing boat builders in the Northeast of the USA would actually ask the people from town to "donate" urine! They needed a lot of it to immerse the planks completely. LOL! I don't know what the ammonia concentration is in human urine. I assume you can Google it, but it probably is a weak solution. You probably do not want too much ammonia oversoftening the wood, of course. At any rate, being able to soften and bend wood at room temperature will ease your work.

Here's an abstract from an article about softening wood with ammonia:

Wood Softening and Forming with Ammonia
M. BARISKA

Institut fur Microtechnologische Holzforschung, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, CH 8006 Zurich, Switzerland

C. SCHUERCH

Department of Chemistry, S.U.N.Y. College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, N.Y. 13210

"Abstract

During sorption, softening and forming processes in woodwater-ammonia systems, changes occur on molecular to macroscopic levels . They are time-dependent and history-dependent functions of temperature, pressure, and system composition, and require definitionin terms ranging from molecular interactions to engineering properties. The influence of ammonia is comparable to but more extreme than that of water. At room temperature its effect is comparable to the effect of water alone at 200° C. In general the rate of diffusion of ammonia in wood is much faster than water; bound water is displaced by ammonia since ammonia sorption is more powerful; the fiber saturation capacity of the wood is much higher for ammonia; the wood can be more highly swollen. Ammonia-treated wood is less elastic and can undergo plastic flow and creep. The wood tends after drying to be more dense but less dimensionally stable. The processing characteristics and final properties of ammoniatreated wood cover a wide range depending on treatment conditions. At various stages of development are rapid ammonia treatments for wood forming, with results comparable in effect to steam bending (Zurich), modification of wood properties by compression (Riga), defiberization and pulping, wood slicing, adhesion of particles in molding, and applications in arts and crafts."

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-1977-0043.c...

Good luck to you.

timwikander (author)2017-12-05

Really great work Ryo. I have been experimenting a bit with printed tooling myself recently. Hadn't thought of using it to shape plywood! Nice to see how you went about it. And I agree with randofo, great GIFs.

Ryo Kosaka (author)timwikander2017-12-06

Thanks for your comment.

I like 3D printing and 3D modeling. However, I thought it would be nice to be able to make shapes without the limitation of the size of my small 3D printer. I wanted to create a tool that can compensate for the shortcomings of 3D printers using 3D printers.

Matlek (author)2017-12-04

Great instructable and intteresting technique!

Ryo Kosaka (author)Matlek2017-12-06

Thanks a lot.

randofo (author)2017-12-04

Nice GIFs!

Also, really appreciate the process you have created. I look forward to seeing what else you make with this technique.

Ryo Kosaka (author)randofo2017-12-06

Thanks!

I like GIF because it's handy when I explain something.

Yes. Although it is the stage of the experiment now, I am going to rework and make bigger items such as chairs and tables.

TueBjørn (author)2017-12-04

You should try to make this and combine it with your lamp.
I noticed the cord at the last GIF. this could solve it :D

https://www.instructables.com/id/E27-Wireless-LED-Bulb/

Ryo Kosaka (author)TueBjørn2017-12-04

Wow. cool!

I also thought that if there was no code on this lamp.

But the cordless socket was not sold anywhere.

Thank you for telling me this article.

sgall (author)2017-12-02

Amazing!

It is very imaginative to re-think a process like bending plywood so that it can be done in a small area and with less noise. I particularly like the flexibility of the brackets and the simplicity of the inflatable ball

Ryo Kosaka (author)sgall2017-12-03

Thank you! I also like the step of inflating the ball.

SergeE (author)2017-12-03

Very interesting approach which gives me a few ideas for projects I was staying away from. I didn't want to go through the steps of having to make bulky single use molds. You have just shown me a way to make a multi-use "mold".

Ryo Kosaka (author)SergeE2017-12-03

I'm glad to hear that.

I also did not want to take steps to make the mold.

I am happy if this method boosts the production of someone.

cdavenport (author)2017-12-03

GENIUS! Absolute genius. I've got some laminating/bending projects on the shelf, way back, there because I despaired of all the work of designing bending jigs. What a clever answer that can be easily expanding by adding more 3D joints. Thank you so much! Merry Christmas!

Ryo Kosaka (author)cdavenport2017-12-03

Thank you! Merry Christmas!

rayp1511 (author)2017-12-02

This is so creative, very impressive. Well written too. Thanks for posting this.

Ryo Kosaka (author)rayp15112017-12-02

Thanks!!

About This Instructable

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