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Artist Jennifer Berry Creates Collaborative Art With Bees, Nature’s 3D Printers

by • February 3, 2016 • No Comments

bprinting device“Bees are the world’s initially 3D printing devices,” says Jennifer Berry. An ecologist, landscape developer, artist, teacher, Berry is the founder of Berry Design Ecology, her quite own consulting practice. Her work combines her backgrounds in art and biology, and has resulted in a few revolutionary creations and inventions, that include an awe-inspiring 3D printing device that she turn it intod and turn it intod herself, via bees as her inspiration.

We’ve written of biomimicry before; the principle has been utilized in most industries to turn it into a few of our most successful products. Nature is smart, frequently smarter than humans, in fact, when it comes to preserving health and creating resiliency. Few folks realize only how most of the man-made things we depend on have been inspired by insects, or plants, or birds. On the other hand 3D printing devices weren’t inspired by bees, per se, Berry pretty is not the initially to notice that they do effortlessly what we as humans have put billions of dollars into developing as a innovation.

bcodeBerry, who counts beekeeping as one of her myriad interests, utilized to work as an artist in residence at the Autodesk Pier 9 Artists in Residence Program in San Francisco. Whilst there, she began developing a 3D printing device that in fact worked with bees to turn it into biodegradable, sustainable and actually edible printed art. The B-Code Biopolymer Printer is both a printing device and a beehive, and Berry has documented its creation on Instructables.

“I initially became involved with Additive Manufacturing a few ten years ago in the prototyping industry,” Berry explains. “At the time we called it ‘expanding’ a part, that is a excellent way to convey this concept, so much like to how nature builds its things. It was the yett of expanding parts that became the basis for my development towards a biological 3D printing device…With the B-code printing device, a biopolymer is extruded of a nozzle, in this case the bee’s mouth, and is ‘drawn’ in a long thread, one layer deposited atop another and air cured. The extruded biopolymer is made of beeswax, a long-chain alcohol plastic much like to ethylene, made of esters of fatty acids secreted of the glands of young adult bees.”

hcombShe named the printing device “B-Code” for the reason, as she explains, the logic by that bees operate is in fact quite much like to the logic utilized in binary and other desktop coding. Knowledge of the bees’ code was what enabled her to turn it into the printing device, that the bees may in fact live within. Berry turn it intod several prototypes, ending up with a clear, domelike enclosure, lit with LED light tubing. The accomplished printing device appears like a work of art in itself, but the final artwork was accomplished by the bees, that Berry added into the printing device as their new, temporary home.

It is significant to note that no bees were harmed in the assembling of the printing device, and when the “print job” was finished, the bees exited effortlessly and flew off to find another hive. A immense amount of work went into assembling the hive/printing device bee-friendly, and Berry carefully details it all in her Instructable, but in short, the bees go of their business within the enclosure, assembling a delicate, spiraling honeycomb sculpture – a completely effortless 3D print, that Berry and so incorporated into her own work, referring to it as collaborative art.

I’ll be honest – what Berry has done blows my mind, and I understand I may never actually start to try reproducing what she made. If you’d like to try, yet, take a appear at the full Instructable, that explains it all much advantageous than I can, and maybe you too can collaborate with bees to turn it into attractive, ecological sculpture. Discuss this awe-inspiring creation in the 3D Printer Beehive forum over at 3DPB.com.