Skip to comments.6,500 Live Silkworms 3D Print an Incredible Dome
Posted on 07/13/2013 5:32:22 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have accomplished a stunning architectural feat using silkworms. To construct this "Silk Pavillion," 6,500 live silkworms were guided via computer, creating a 3D print of the domed structure.
The vast majority of 3D printing is done with plastic (although liquid metal may not be too far away), but MIT's Silk Pavillion project is the first 3D-printed structure made out of 100% natural materials.
According to Wired, Neri Oxman, the creator of the project, calls the hybrid fabrication method CNSilk. It constitutes part of her interest in "biomimicry," a new science that uses designs and processes found in nature and applies them to human problems.
Students at MIT studied the worms' spinning patterns and tested whether they could control them by altering the worms' environment. When they found out they could, Oxman's team created an aluminum scaffold, while a CNC robot created a lattice of silk starter threads across it to provide a base for the worms to operate.
Oxman created a CAD program and used heat and light to control the worms output. The structure was then placed in an atrium at MIT, and thousands of silk worms were released on it.
Todays 3D printers would have trouble printing anything larger than a few inches. Oxman tells Wired that the silkworm "embodies everything an additive fabrication system currently lacks."
The entire process is also environmentally friendly, since the worms' creations biodegrade over time, and the worms will leave approximately 1.5 million eggs behind, with the potential of constructing up to 250 additional pavilions.
Political power grows out of the nozzle of a 3-D Printer.
That sounds crazy, but I'd bet it's within the realm of possibility within a handful of years.
The worlds first 3D-printed house
I knew as soon as I read JRF’s post someone would find something like that.
Just keep the silk-eating moths/worms off that dome.
That's nothing - Leftists control millions of liberals so minutely that they created the Democrat Party.
Hey, worm control is worm control - the rest is just scaling.
I'm sure it will be woven into a 3D printer stock to create GREAT innovations.
All real, no "kidding"... Scientists breed goats that produce spider silk
Don't mess with goats who have spidy sense...!