Designing Intelligent and Adaptable “Plants”

3D Printing & Imaging Maker News
Designing Intelligent and Adaptable “Plants”


This fantastic project of Nicole Hone may be a few years old but is still downright mesmerizing and inspirational with the possibilities. Hydrophytes are futuristic aquatic plants created with multi-material 3D printing with multipurpose potential! It is hard to believe that they are A not alive or B the video did not use CGI but believed it, it is the air that triggers their movement when pumping into their parts.


The goal of Hone’s research was to design and choreograph movement through 4D printing. This additional dimension assists in creating an illusion of life. From her site:


The designs utilize Stratasys PolyJet technology that allows blends of rigid and flexible resins known as digital materials. Sealed chambers allow the 4D prints to activate independently through pneumatic inflation. The Hydrophytes illustrate a range of multifaceted, variable movements whose life-like qualities are unique to the behavior of digital materials.
These Computer-Generated Objects (CGO) take advantage of both the digital world, with its versatility and efficiency in form-making, and the physical world, where objects can respond to the environment, humans, and other printed objects. This balance between controlled design and uncontrolled natural interaction leads to the creation of compelling organic performances.

PHOTO: Nicole Hone


The project was a continuation to explore independently moving 3D-printed objects like here work creating Synthetic Jellies.

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Gillian Mutti

About Gillian Mutti serves as the Director of Marketing for Make: and also holds the role of Co-Producer for Maker Faire.

View more articles by Gillian Mutti

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