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3form EcoResin Panels

13 August 2010 13,420 views No Comment


Resin is intriguing stuff.  In my mind it’s like honey to the power of two; it’s sticky as all hell, often golden or amber (ha!) in color, and it is, chemically speaking, a lot many kinds of serious.  Technically resin is a “hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees valued for its chemical constituents and uses such as varnishes and adhesives, as an important source of raw materials for organic synthesis, or for incense and perfume” (Wikipedia).  It can also be used to make translucent panels in a wide range of colors and textures, which is why I’m writing about it.

All images courtesy 3form

Plastics company 3form manufactures and distributes Ecoresin panels, which come in nearly every imaginable color and texture and can be embedded with natural materials, high-resolution and screen-printed images, as well as laser-cut patterns in a razor-thin wood veneer interlayer.  “Better still, Ecoresin is environmentally sound, 40% recycled, meets LEED standards and is the sturdiest commercially available polyester resin. The kami line of products is particularly beautiful – featuring natural elements like leaves, grass, plant fibers and petals embedded in the resin. You can use Ecoresin in the design of anything from furniture, to walls, to lighting” (Fehrenbacher).  It can be thermoformed and it’s not difficult to cut.

3form has developed three programs to encourage the adoption of their products by homeowners and architects with a residential focus.  The first, a program called Ready to Go offers around “75 prepackaged, modifiable designs with accompanying drawings and specifications offer solutions for shelving, partitions, ceiling fixtures, sliding doors and tables” (Rowlett).  The idea is that the program streamlines the process for specifiers who are interested in resin panels but who don’t have time or budget to customize their projects with new materials.

The second program, Cut to Order, limits the product offering to what 3form has in stock, which makes it a good program for cabinet shops and remodel companies who don’t want to mess with unfabricated 4-by-8-foot sheets. 

Finally, there is the Reclaim program, which “might have just as easily been dubbed Ready to Cut. Through Reclaim, an online inventory of remnants and panels removed from installation or damaged in production, 3form materials find new life in projects of every scale. Because CNC routers and panelshop machines can cut and heatform Varia, Reclaim stock is popular with cabinet makers” (Rowlett).  These snippets are easy to acquire and can add that little dash of the unexpected that makes a project go from “meh” to “magic.”


Ecoresin is being filed under wood because it is plastic.


Fehrenbacher, Jill. “3form’s Ecoresin.” Inhabitat. 05/02/05. Accessed 08/13/10.  URL.

Rowlett, Laura. “Homeward Bound.” Surface and Panel Magazine. Accessed 08/13/10.  URL.

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