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Disturbing news

A wood paste extruder? OK, now I'm worried about the possible extinction of woodworkers.

CNC technology never worried me too much. 3D printing did not concern me much either because the medium is plastic, not wood. But now, the latest hot news is the wood paste extruder, a contraption that piggy backs onto your 3D printer and allows you to use wood paste to print objects.

Of course these objects lack any of the attributes of real wood like pores and grain lines and so forth. But in the most technical sense, they are made of wood and, I am certain, it will only be a matter of time before someone figures out how to print objects that do have these attributes as well as color variations, knots, cracks and other features that will help fool the viewer into thinking that they are actually looking at wood.

I can even see the day when we will actually be able to program these printers to emulate various woods. When someone asks if they can get their pepper grinder in cocobolo instead of tulipwood, we will simply say, "sure," and reprogram the printer.

This is going to save a lot of trees and create a lot of work for programmers. But I’m not so sure about us actual woodworkers.


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