Monday, 8 April 2013

3D Printed DNA "Portraits"

Forget everything you heard about the ability of 3D printing to product customized products such silver jewelry with an imprint of the terrain of the area where you live. If the following stories are anything to go by, things are going to get a whole lot more personal yet.

Using 3D printing, American artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates portrait sculptures from the analyses of genetic material collected in public places.

From cigarette butts to hair samples, she works using random traces left behind from un-suspecting strangers. Using DNA facial modeling software and a 3D printer, physical models are conceived, reconstructed from ethnic profiles, eye color and hair color.

Not impressed?

Let's step up. A design house called Tjep working in collaboration with another design house called DutchDNA (it could only happen in the Netherlands) have created objects that reflect personality.

Here, the DNA of a dancer has been converted into the shape of a fluid table, reflecting her flexibility and motion, which is assumed to be 'present' in her DNA.

DNA sequencing was outsourced to BaseClear Technologies.

What this story illustrates is that the combination of 3D software, computational design and additive manufacturing (a.k.a. "3D Printing") are set to fill the world with the weird and the wonderful, the beautiful and the ugly.

We sit on the threshold of a manufacturing and design renaissance.

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