Neri Oxman Designs a New Outfit; A ‘Wearable Skin’!

Neri Oxman Designs a New Outfit; a ‘Wearable skin’!

Architect and designer Neri Oxman, has revealed the world’s first 3D printed photosynthetic wearable garment which is embedded with living matter. On the TED2015 stage in Vancouver, Oxman unveiled Mushtari, an artwork 3D printed by Stratasys, and the world’s first wearable combining multi-material additive manufacturing and synthetic biology.

“This is the first time that 3D printing technology has been used to produce a photosynthetic wearable piece with hollow internal channels designed to house microorganisms, ” she said.

Neri Oxman Designs a New Outfit; a ‘Wearable skin’! 2

Oxman explains how Mushtari was developed. It not only hosts living organisms, but also manipulates their function. As Oxman states in her oration: “We live in a special time, ” alongside the latest advances in computational design, materials engineering, synthetic biology, and additive manufacturing.”

Oxman explains that she was “Inspired by the human gastrointestinal tract, Mushtari is designed to host synthetic microorganisms – a co-culture of photosynthetic cyanobacteria and E. coli bacteria – that can fluoresce bright colors in darkness and produce sugar or biofuels when exposed to the sun. Such functions will in the near future augment the wearer by scanning our skins, repairing damaged tissue and sustaining our bodies, an experiment that has never been attempted before.”

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Stratasys developed a new tailor-made solution for this particular piece. According to Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design at Stratasys, “We have a fertile research collaboration with Professor Neri Oxman, and 3D printing Mushtari is a wonderful example of how far this collaboration can bring us.

“The fluid channels in the wearable stretch to around 58 meters, with an inner channel diameter ranging from 1 mm to 2.5 cm, frequently turning sharply in new directions. Clearing the support material out from such a long, narrow and complex structure to create the hollow channels for living matter presented a significant challenge.”

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