BURLINGTON - One of Burlington’s premier high-tech businesses, Desktop Metal, is bracing to expand its 3D printing operations into the wood realm.

Desktop Metal, which has been located on North Avenue since 2016, recently went in front of the Planning Board seeking approvals for five special permits. The 3D printing business is an expanding company involved in creating three-dimensional printers, which have only printed various forms of metal up until now. These permits are part of the company’s initiative to expand its product line to include plastics, Carbon Fibers, and printing wood flour.

Desktop Metal previously purchased FORUST, a company that takes sawdust generated from waste material from making furniture and uses it in 3D printing machines in order to make wooden objects. Some of the 3D printed wood products include trays, lighting bases for lamps, dashboards for vehicles, and floor tiles.

The sawdust is purchased from a company that processes sawdust particles of a certain size that is needed to mix with powdered wood glue, eventually resulting in a 3D-printed wood product.

“We are looking forward to doing some pretty amazing things in the 3D printing industry,” said Kevin Lee, of Desktop Metal.

Planning Director Kristin Kassner, along with the rest of the Planning Board, is pleased with the evolution of Desktop Metal in Burlington.

“Desktop Metal has put us in another stratosphere with 3D printing,” she championed. “They are changing the world from their location in Burlington and I really appreciate them.”

Kassner did mention departmental comments still need to be heard from certain town board and officials, so the planners weren’t ready to vote on the permits. Also, since the Planning Board began conducted virtual public meetings, Planning Staff’s policy has been to not vote on any special permit or site plan application during its first reading so the public has ample time to provide feedback.

Under those parameters, the board voted to continue the five special permit applications to its next meeting on April 29.

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