May.16, 2013

The cordyceps is a type of fungus that attacks arthropods and infects insects with its spores. Once infected, the insects continue living but eventually fall under the control of the fungus, going after things and environments that are beneficial to the fungus. The fungus grows inside the insect and controls it both mentally and physically. Before the insect dies, the fungus makes it climb high onto a branch and grip on, giving it an advantageous place to spread spores. Once the insect is dead, the cordyceps protrudes out, breaking through the exoskeleton.

Fascinated by cordyceps and images of patterns in nature on a macro and micro level, architect and designer Xuedi Chen wants to express organic forms and in particular the invasive characteristics of growth in certain organisms and turns them into fashion.

Her idea is to produce several pieces for a series of 3D printed exploration in biomimicry accessories that form to and grow from the host human.

Her experiments started with a Chia test, growing chia seeds from a 3D printed substrate. Chen used Processing to generate voronoi forms and exported the vectors. Then the vectors were pulled into Rhino and made into solids. She then printed a voronoi substrate on a Makerbot Replicator 2 with 0 infill and cancelled the print half way through. "This left me with channels where I could cultivate some chia seeds." said Chen. But it didn't turn out as she expected, as after a couple weeks the leaves filled in and the thick canopy lost all definition of the substrate form.

In her second experiment she used the Toxiclibs library in Processing to import STL files and "grew" meshes off each other. The images below are the result. The head piece was printed at Shapeways in white strong and flexible because of its delicate nature. The large piece on the neck was created on a Makerbot Replicator 2 with live moss.

(Images credit: Xuedi Chen)

I am wondering if anyone would ever wear these accessories in public?


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Lexington wrote at 3/26/2014 6:19:42 PM:

Awesome!! I would totally wear something like this

Tom wrote at 5/17/2013 9:18:35 AM:

This is ugly!!!

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