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The Israeli researcher Neri Oxman is considered one of the most important contemporary minds, she studied medicine, architecture and design calculation up to lead the direction of a research group at MIT focused on materials science, synthetic biology, computational design and 3D printing with the aim of artificially recreate design structures and forms inspired by nature.

Her main inspiration resides in the observation of nature material structure to bring it back to the lab via additive manufacturing technologies, creating objects conceived not as a set of parts, but as a single body with changing properties. We propose you her speech at TED in 2015 to hear from her voice the description of research projects aimed at bringing the Fordist conception of production in series of parts made to Darwinian vision of evolution of living beings to adapt to the outside world and its changes.

Today, laboratory research shows us that 3D printing opens up a new paradigm not only in production but also in design and material conception: the computational design allows you to design complex shapes, 3D printing lets you control the composition of the material in real time and calculate the various functions at the time of realization. This makes 3D printing the ideal means of achieving a new relationship with the materials and influence the design in a revolutionary way.

ricerca sulla chitina

With this vision Neri Oxman and her team are looking for new ways to expand the range of possibilities of 3D printing. That’s one of the topics she exhibited at TED, the research on chitin, used for building a 3D printing biodegradable material made from shrimp shells. The team was able to print giant insect wings that are light and strong as in nature due to their geometry which concentrates the material along the lines of tension. A material completely biodegradable and eco-friendly that, they hope, can replace plastics and oil derivatives in the objects that make up the world around us.

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