Water-based Engineering & Fabrication: Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing of Biomaterials

2015  Mogas-Soldevila, L., and Oxman, N. , Adaptive Architecture and Programmable Matter Symposium: : Next Generation Building Skins and Systems from Nano to Macro, MRS Proceedings, Volume 1800, Cambridge University Press

ABSTRACT

In nature, water assemblesbasic molecules into complex multi-functional structures withnano-to-macro  property  variation.Such  processes  generally  consume low  amounts  of  energy, produce  little  to  no waste,  and take  advantage  of ambient  conditions.  In  contrastdigital manufacturingplatforms  are  generally  characterized  as  uni-functional,  wasteful,  fuel-based  and often toxic. In this paper we explorethe role of water in biological constructionand proposean enabling technology modeled after these findings. We present a water-based fabrication platform tailored  for  3-D  printing of water-based  compositesand regenerated  biomaterials  such  as chitosan,  cellulose  or  sodium  alginatefor  the  construction  of  highly  sustainable  products  and building components.We demonstrate that water-based fabricationof biological materials can be used  to tune  mechanical, chemical  and opticalproperties  of aqueous  material  composites.The platform  consists  ofa multi-nozzle  extrusion  system attached to  a  multi-axis  robotic  arm designed to additively  fabricateextrusion-compatible  gelswithgraded properties.  Applications of the composites include small and medium-scale recyclable objects,as well astemporary large-scale architectural structures. Access online article here. Access conference proceedings here. Access CFP here.

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Water-based Engineering & Fabrication

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