The list of things that can be 3D printed keeps growing and growing, and Yuichiro Takeuchi recently added gardens to the tally. The computer scientist at the Sony Computer Science Laboratories in Tokyo has invented a way to use 3D printing technology to design, print and grow herb and flower gardens in nearly any desired shape. Read on to learn more about Takeuchi’s project, which was unveiled at New York’s Museum of Modern Art during the greener future month at the Sony CSL symposium.
Takeuchi designed his on-demand garden software system to print yarn laced with seed encasements into a variety of special shapes. The technology is able to print garden models across a wide range of compact shapes including rectangles, triangles and yes, even pandas!
Similar to the hydroponics growing method used to create popular vertical gardens on everything from walls to building exteriors, Takeuchi’s 3D-printed gardens use nutrient material implanted in the yarn in lieu of traditional soil. The garden has the capability to grow into full-sized plants in under a few weeks.
Traditional vertical gardens can cost upwards of thousands of dollars to install and maintain. Not to mention that in dense urban environments, adopting areas for green space can pose quite the challenge. Comparatively, the 3D-printed plant would make it cheaper and relatively more practical for people to grow gardens in any amount of square footage available.
“The printing solution takes away much of those hurdles, and also provides a high degree of flexibility (one can print out a garden that fits snugly into any designated space) which hopefully will make hydroponic gardening more attractive for citizens living in dense cities with limited space,” Takeuchi told Business Insider.
Though the advent of Takeuchi’s design would be a major move for both aspiring urban gardeners and tech enthusiasts, the computer scientist is still a few iterations away before he can start jotting down orders for the technology.
Images via Yuichiro Takeuchi, Sony Computer Sciences Laboratories