A burl is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner. It is commonly found in the form of a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch that is filled with small knots from dormant buds. A burl results from a tree undergoing some form of stress. It may be caused by an injury, virus or fungus.
In this case, the burl is a product of the 3D printing of wood, exploring the forms and thickness that is possible with this as an emerging material in additive manufacturing. Like a burl found in nature, this burl contains cracks, deformations and dense layers of growth rings—a product of the layers of manufacturing.