At the Technical University’s Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) , the young Dresden-based entrepreneurs Yves Mattern and Philipp Strobel have developed a method to produce highly resistant, lightweight wooden structures that can be given almost any shape. The resulting vehicle construction frames are designed to enduringly withstand higher loads than heavier aluminum models and also have a better life cycle assessment. The project is scheduled to hit the commercial market in the summer of 2018 and initially includes project-related contract manufacturing. The entrepreneurs plan to set up their own automated factory in 2020 and later, among other things, their own product line for wooden vehicles, from the bicycle to the e-car.
The concept itself is sound, based as it among other things on ILK research in material processing in aircraft and automotive engineering. These research findings have been adapted to develop a manufacturing process based on veneers. Thin wooden sheets are placed around a mold, bent, cut into strips again and glued together on a mold once more. The wood’s natural fiber structure thus results in extremely resilient components, which, thanks to the subsequent topology optimization by means of partial milling, are given the ideal balance between resistance and weight.