The olive wood replica sample was first sliced to 27 micro-meters (0.027mm) in width using a CNC mill. The ultra-thin slices were then photographed using destructive tomographic imaging.
The Stratasys J750 allows the designer to specify the desired quality for every voxel, with this particular model allowing for a maximum of 760 billion voxels. All 230 images were fed into this printer.
The research team said that the 3D-printed wood is a close match with the original sample, both internally and externally. While they were able to replicate the grain and color, the researchers are aiming for future reproduction of properties, such as stiffness, as well.
While many use cases and possibilities of such manufacturing exist, further advancements will rely on the increased development of technology.
The researchers envision a future where images used for voxel printing will be as widespread as standard 2D stock images are today.