Have you ever imagined that the digital and biological world could be blended to create a piece of art? Well that is exactly what happened when artist Sammy Jobbins Wells used bacteria to create the surface of a garment along with 3D printing. The surface of the bacteria form is given a shape by placing an underlying skeleton which is designed with the Delaunay Triangulation. The surface is also placed over molds created using 3D printing where they later dry and take the desired shape. Let us check out how the process is carried out.
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The Interesting Process of Art Creation
Acetobacter Xylinum is a type of bacteria that consumes glucose and creates a microbial cellulose textile. This bacterium is used to grow the surface. In this type of textile production, no energy is consumed for the production, which makes it absolutely sustainable. Wells was keen on using the material as it was irregular and tensile and thought of combining the natural biological processes and digitally generated forms.
Wells got the inspiration to use the underlying structure from the different forms of antique animal bone corsets. However the corsets had rigid structures which hindered free movement. By adding the bacteria skin, the overall surface of the body was modified.
The garments designed by Wells wrap the waist and pelvis area, move to the back and finally cover the head of the wearer. Rapid prototyping equipment is used to create the algorithmically generated forms and the cellulose contracts and develops over the forms to create an absolute fit.
Prior Use of Bacterial Cellulose
Sammy Jobbins Wells is not the first artist who has used bacterial cellulose for her creations. Prior to her, Suzanne Lee, a designer based in London, and a senior research fellow in the School of Fashion/Textiles, has created a set of garments where textiles created from bacterial cellulose were used. She had designed a ‘biocouture’ jacket which was developed by using millions of bacteria that were grown in bathtubs of sweet green tea.
However, Wells’ work is different as she has combined the biological world along with the digital world to develop the garment.
What do you think?
Do you think mixing bacteria and 3D printing to create a work of art is a normal or a bizarre idea? What other unusual applications of 3D printing can you think of? Share your insights in the comments below.
Image Source – 3dprint.com