3D Printing
Article

‘Bioconstruction’ will build homes out of flowering, 3D-printed dirt

by
Fast Company
September 23, 2022
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Photo: courtesy Ehsan Baharlou

Summary

Using soil as the material for 3D printing expands its architectural potential.

The walls of your home usually need to be spruced up with paint or some art, but one day they may be teeming with life instead.

Through a new approach to 3D printing, soil implanted with seeds can now be used as a concrete-like building material. Developed by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Virginia, this building technique could open up doors to a completely new kind of building, with finely tuned ecosystems of plants and bacteria forming the insulation, the structure, even the exteriors of homes.

“It becomes like a living tissue within your house,” says Ji Ma, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at UVA who led this research, which was recently published in the journal Additive Manufacturing.

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Fast Company
Fast Company

Fast Company is the world’s leading business media brand, with an editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world-changing ideas, creativity, and design. Written for and about the most progressive business leaders, Fast Company inspires readers to think expansively, lead with purpose, embrace change, and shape the future of business.

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