Moving 3D printed objects demonstrate the inner workings of the human body
After winning the Bio Art & Design Award 2016, Lilian van Daal and Roos Meerman are now proud to present the first results of the research project ‘Dynamorphosis’. Developed in close collaboration with Renee van Amerongen of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences of the University of Amsterdam, the duo recently presented the results of a years work at MU Artspace in Eindhoven. The project merges the invisible biological process of the body with 3D printing technique, mimicking the bodies ability to self assemble, transfer substances and maintain equilibrium. The resulting objects illuminate the hidden beauty of biological processes in lungs, intestines and breast tissue.
In the design as well as the science realm, 3D printing is by now familiar territory. Lilian and Roos challenged themselves to test the limits of this technology to enable innovation. With Dynamorphosis, they developed and used novel materials and strategies to push 3D printing technology to the next level. By collaborating with the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences through the Bio Art & Design Award, the duo was able to gain enough knowledge to realize their ideas, combining nature’s ways with their technical skills. The final objects do not only reveal the hidden beauty of biology, but also technical innovation and can be seen as the ultimate example of joined forces between science and art.
Fascination for the lungs stems from their structured assembly, which can be captured in computational algorithms. The branched lung tissue is composed of so-called fractals: mathematical patterns that repeat themselves at every level. By using 3D printed molds, Lilian and Roos were able to construct a complex balloon, which changes its volume in response to air pressure.
The intestine is capable of transporting food by means of peristaltic movements. It is a fascinating system of transportation, in which pulsating rather than continuous movements allow the efficient use of energy. Short, vertical muscles transfer their pulses to elongated, horizontal muscles, resulting in a smooth, propelling motion. For this design Lilian and Roos mimicked this proces by 3D printing different structures on textile.
The breast connects mother and child. This is where life starts. Strangely, we still know very little about the growth properties of this tissue. We are fascinated by the many different shapes the tissue adopts throughout life. This has resulted in one of the first physical 3D visualizations of the breast tissue. We were inspired by two-dimensional scientific images. Using a 3D print technique that allows the production of thin-walled, narrow tubes, we were able to construct an intricate network of passageways for the directional transport of liquids.
About Studio Roos Meerman
Roos Meerman researches natural phenomena, looking for specific characteristics and the limits of a material by playing with it. Her goal is to control materials, yet in such a way that it retains freedom of movement. Because of this approach, the final outcome of her projects is always unique. Her self-developed or hacked techniques and machines represent an analytical and fundamental designprocess and underline her scientific attitude towards design research.
About Lilian van Daal