Curved structures made out of wood are what architects dream about. But doing that requires a ton of energy and results in a lot of waste.

But researchers at the Laboratory for Cellulose & Wood Materials, the Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zurich and the University of Stuttgart found modeling the wood while it is in a drying phase can create these curved structured. The team published their work in the journal Science Advances.

Machines required to make curved wood today
As it stands, using wood to make curved structures required machines that have to cut out the parts of the wood to make it curve. To overcome that the team of reseachers utilized wood’s ability to absorb and release moisture to shape the material. When wood gets mositure in it, it leads the material to warp. In manufacturing, that’s long been a challenge but the researchers used it to their advantage.