Water-based Engineering & Fabrication: Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing of Biomaterials
2015 L. Mogas Soldevila and N. Oxman , Adaptive Architecture and Programmable Matter Symposium: : Next Generation Building Skins and Systems from Nano to Macro, MRS Proceedings, Volume 1800, Cambridge University Press
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.