In her water-based digital fabrication platform project, architect and professor Neri Oxman embraces water as nature's architectural tool and restructures the way we perceive aqueous manufacturing through the combination of "age-old crustacean-derived material with robotic fabrication and synthetic biology."
Neri Oxman and her team make use of a robotically controlled extrusion system and a computational workflow for the direct digital fabrication and hydration-guided self-assembly of "multi-material and multi-scale structured objects."
The Water-Based Digital Fabrication Platform uses a derivative of a renewable polymer, called chitin, in the printing process. The formation of the objects post materialization is guided by evaporation patterns and controlled wrinkling. Each new object is moldable by contact with air, as well as biodegradable by water. In addition, Neri Oxman and her team add a coat of Cyanobacteria, in order to bring additional properties to the objects, such as "water resistance and conductivity."