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3D Printing Adds Life to Cities

3D Printing Adds Life to Cities

3D Printing Adds Life to Cities

How can 3D printing add life and color to cities? Read this blog to find out!

Cities are often referred to as “concrete jungles,” where green space is at a premium.

Computer scientist Yuichiro Takeuchi thought outside of the gray and bland rooftops that line cityscapes everywhere when he found a better way to liven up urban areas by 3D printing gardens.

By using a 3D printer and a certain software that he designed, he’s able to print yarn encasements that hold plant seeds that will, in a few weeks’ time, grow into full-grown plants.

Whether it’s a triangle or a rectangle, his 3D printing technology can print gardens in pretty much any shape.

Basically, the way that Takeuchi’s innovation works is that he first designs the shape on his computer. For instance, he once made a panda-shaped design, which we’ll use as today’s example. After the design was created, he fed the design into the 3D printer, which then printed yarn in the shape of the panda.

Once the 3D printer was finished printing the yarn, an attachment to the printer dispensed tiny seeds into the encasement.

This whole process that was just described is done through hydroponics. This method grows plants with mineral nutrients rather than soil.  Have you ever wondered how vertical gardens are grown? It’s a product of this process!

These 3D printed gardens have a high degree of flexibility in that they can be printed into snuggly fit spaces, which could, in turn, be more attractive for citizens living in big cities with limited space.

As of late, Takeuchi, can grow plants on the smaller end of the spectrum, like watercress and even herbs like basil and arugula.

Though this is a big feat, he’s not satisfied. Looking towards the future, he wants to be able to 3D print yarn encasements that are big enough to grow trees, vegetables and fruits.  As his 3D printer stands, it’s too slow for such a large-scale idea; that’s why he’s dedicating his efforts next year into making a bigger, faster printer.

Aside from the aesthetics of this 3D printed innovation, it’s been proven that plants increase productivity in offices and have the ability to draw in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, which is one way that cities could lessen their carbon footprint.

Though Takeuchi is still working on this invention, we’re curious to see if this 3D printed innovation will be sprouting up in cities all over the world!

Copyright Inventionland,2014

Sources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/3d-print-plants-for-city-green-spaces-2014-10

Media:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Mur_vegetal_avignon_jour1.jpg