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MIT Researchers to 3D Print a Silkworm-Inspired Pavilion Using a Robotic Arm
Posted By Lidija Grozdanic On March 21, 2013 @ 9:42 am In Architecture,biomimicry,green technology,News | No Comments
Photo via Shutterstock 
MIT  has unveiled plans to 3D print  a pavilion inspired by the technique that silkworms use to build their cocoons. Data that tracks the movement of a silkworm as it makes its pupal casing will be fed into a robotic arm , which will weave a cocoon-like 3D structure that is tough on the outside but softer on the inside.
The 12′x12′ pavilion is being developed in collaboration between MIT Media Lab , the WYSS Institute  at Harvard University and TUFTS University . The team, led by architect and Mediated Matter Group  founder Neri Oxman, is focused on experimenting with multi-scalar composite shell environments through a process of analysis and feedback.
According to the team’s research, silkworms adjust the density of the silk threads by rotating their heads in figure-eight patterns. As the worms construct their cocoons, the wall casing takes on a form in which the material is tough on the outside and soft on the inside. By mimicking the building techniques and patterns of silkworms , the scientists aim to create a 3D printer  that will print in larger scales than the currently used ones and achieve more complex materiality.
The pavilion, which is slated to be unveiled on April 22nd, opens a way for achieving synthesis between biology, material science, and computation. The new technology will allow the building of embedded, performance-based designs at a habitable scale.
+ MIT Media Lab 
Via Dezeen 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/the-silk-pavilion-mit-researchers-to-3d-print-a-silkworm-inspired-structure/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/03/mit-3d-print-pavilion-silkworm-1.jpg
 Shutterstock: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-79175095/stock-photo-silk-cocoons-with-silk-worm-on-green-mulberry-leaf.html?src=AF17F7E8-9228-11E2-A335-AE8B71D9A14D-1-21
 MIT: http://www.media.mit.edu/research/groups/4623/cnsilk-pavilion
 3D print: http://inhabitat.com/tag/3d-printing
 robotic arm: http://inhabitat.com/mind-controlled-robotic-arm-to-transform-the-lives-of-the-paralyzed/
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/03/Silk-worm-cocoons-1.jpg
 WYSS Institute: http://wyss.harvard.edu/
 TUFTS University: http://www.tufts.edu/
 Mediated Matter Group: http://www.media.mit.edu/research/groups/mediated-matter
 silkworms: http://inhabitat.com/genetically-modified-silkworms-spin-super-strong-spider-silk-for-bandages-and-bulletproof-vests/
 3D printer: http://inhabitat.com/formlabs-creates-low-cost-high-quality-3d-printer-that-fits-on-a-desktop/
 Dezeen: http://www.dezeen.com/2013/03/13/mit-researchers-to-3d-print-a-pavilion-by-imitating-silkworms/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dezeen+%28Dezeenfeed%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
 Nina Matthews: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21560098@N06/7879095552/sizes/c/in/photostream/
 Sarah Twitchel: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60109216@N07/6329071438/sizes/l/in/photostream/
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