Freedom of Design in Nature

Freedom of Design in Nature

Artistic beauty is not something that has been manufactured by humans, but rather has existed in nature for millions of years.

The Urodid moth is a great example of this beauty, and has unprecedented parallels to the freedom of design concept that is prevalent in additive manufacturing. The ‘open network’ cocoon structure is created through the extrusion of a silk like material, similar to the extrusion process used in fused deposition modeling. The Urodid moth then weaves a myriad of these silk strands to create a safe environment for the pupa.

The reason for the design is a combination of protection and practicality. The porous nature of the design allows for rainfall to flow right through without threatening to drown the pupa. Fungus and mold are also unable to grow on the surface due to a restricted surface area. The positioning of the pupa itself, dangling over a leaf, protects it from potential predators such as ants.

 

Art is becoming an increasingly popular application of 3D printing. The same freedom of design concept allows for artistic expression uninhibited by design constraints. The cocoon holds some similarities to some of the 3D printing art projects currently on exhibit.

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