Design

Space-Inspired 3D Printed Wearables Designed for Biological Functions

by Caroline Pham

December 2, 2014
Otaared: A wearable, antler-like headgear that acts as a protective exoskeleton, inspired by Mercury’s erratic and volatile behavior.

Mankind will forever be fascinated by interplanetary exploration (and especially colonization), no matter how farfetched or scientifically implausible it may be. Designer Neri Oxman along with the MIT Mediated Media group, recognizing that many galactic conditions—“crushing gravity, amonious air, prolonged darkness, and temperatures that would boil glass or freeze carbon dioxide,” for example—don’t exactly accommodate human life, subsequently decided to explore this cosmic world by examining “the worlds within,” or, to be more specific, the fascinating maze of human systems within our own bodies.

Meshing the worlds of multi-material 3D printing and synthetic biology, Oxman, in collaboration with Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb, created a collection of four digitally fashioned wearables meant for “hostile landscapes and deadly environments.” Wanderers, an Astrobiological Exploration presents a series of four “wearable capillaries,” each designed to offer a biological function inspired by a particular destination planet, and are equipped to generate sufficient amounts of biomass, water, air, and light essential for life.

Al-Qamar

For example, the piece named “Al-Qamar” functions as a “wearable pneumatic surface for storing and generating oxygen,” even containing pockets for algae-based purification and biofuel storage. Designed with the Moon’s surface in mind, Al-Qamar’s brainy, coral-like texture and construction resembles what perhaps a Victorian era life jacket might have looked like—preposterous, but fascinating and beautiful in its own odd, magical way.

The Wanderers series is part of Stratasys' collection The Sixth Element: Exploring the Natural Beauty of 3D Printing, on display at EuroMold in Frankfurt, Germany.

Mushtari: A wearable organ system for consuming and digesting biomass, inspired by Jupiter’s vastness.
Zuhal: A wearable vortex field is designed to accommodate for wind variation, inspired by Saturn’s vortex winds.

Photographs by Yoram Reshef

Recently on GOOD
The
Daily
GOOD
Sign up to receive the best of GOOD delivered to your inbox each and every weekday
Space-Inspired 3D Printed Wearables Designed for Biological Functions