This secretive startup plans to 3D print custom, affordable wood furniture

wood chip

The traditional wood furniture industry has its share of problems. Faced with cheap plywood and chip wood that can be packed flat to ship inexpensively before assembly, furniture made of solid wood has become rarer and more expensive.

4 AXYZ founder and CEO Samir Shah has an idea. Instead of working with layers of cheap wood, he wants to work with layers of nice wood. And he’ll do it with 3D printing.

“Effectively what you’re seeing is solid wood furniture is too expensive and quality is dropping. We have something that is not rocket science, even though it is patent pending,” Shah said. “You can make [furniture pieces] to North American standards, and we can deliver them within 15 days even if they were customized by the customer.”

An example of a piece of furniture that would be suited to their printing process. Photo courtesy of Judson Beaumont

An example of a piece of furniture that would be suited to their printing process. Photo courtesy of Judson Beaumont

Shah said the system could be used to build a chair with an especially ornate back or to engrave wood to match its upholstery.

“The more complicated it is, the more expensive it is. It wastes more material and more effort. Our machine would reduce the number components substantially. The more complicated it is, the cheaper it gets with our process,” Shah said.

4 AXYZ won’t disclose how the technology works. Shah said the big secret is how the machine cuts the wood and secures layers together. The company┬áis currently looking for investors. Once it finds funding, Shah said the first machine could be operational in six to eight months.

“When people see it they say, ‘Why didn’t we think of this?’ We discovered that we had something nobody else is doing out there,” Shah said.

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