Another form of bio-digital fabrication was conducted by the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with Harvard and Tufts University. As it is widely known silk is strong, lightweight, soft and even looks good – thus potentially perfect material for future cities. So, to have a closer look into digital and biological fabrication the Silk Pavilion project, led by Neri Oxman, arranged an army of 6,500 silk worms to build a massive silk dome, its size measuring 3.65 metre in diameter. Tiny magnets on the silkworm’s heads enabled the researchers to motion-track all of their movements while they built their cocoons to collect valuable information that can be fed into a 3D printer for the creation of large-scale structures.
As a gimmick for a friend’s birthday cake two recent architecture graduate students from Los Angeles decided to try to 3D print a cake to compensate the non-existence of a proper oven to bake a cake in. A long trial and error period followed but eventually elaborate constructions made of sugar were coming out of the 3D printing press. The Sugar Lab was born. Kyle and Liz von Hasseln now produce high-end edible objects and have taken the first step toward 3D printing foods that does not only taste good but will wow us with its looks.