Olympus has created a prototype of a unique digital camera with a casing made out of wood. To create the casing, the wood was compressed using special techniques, causing the natural resins in the wood come to the surface . The result is a material that is more durable than conventional polycarbonate resins. If the camera goes into production, each one would have its own one-of-a-kind look. The compression process is said to be "three-dimensional", because pressure is applied from all directions at once. The wood that was used was Japanese cypress, which is known for it durability and fragrance.
The prototype was first shown last year at Photokina.
The new process draws on Olympus expertise in precision metal-forming technologies. An Olympus spokesperson said:
One answer was to use wood - the natural color, patina, and grain of which are almost universally appreciated as things of beauty. We therefore focused on the idea of using a three-dimensional compression moulding process to produce a wood-based material thin enough and hard enough to be used to make the casings for electronic products. With the successful development of this process, it is our hope that consumers will enjoy greater aesthetic satisfaction and a sense of personal attachment with future products that are made from this new wood material.
:: Via Photokina