MIT Media Lab Enlists 6,500 Silkworms to 3D Print a Dome Pavilion

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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Silkworms gather atop the pavilion (Steven Keating/Courtesy Mediated Matter)

Silkworms gather atop the pavilion (Steven Keating/Courtesy Mediated Matter)

A new pavilion created by the Mediated Matter research group at MIT’s Media Lab explores the intersection between material technology, computation, and biological and digital fabrication on an architectural scale. Inspired by the silkworm’s ability to create a 3D cocoon out of a single, 1 km thread, a team of researchers led by architect Neri Oxman created a fibrous, CNC-fabricated scaffold made from 26 polygonal panels and laid out in silk thread. They then let loose 6,500 silkworms onto the frame to fill in the gaps and reinforce the structure.

Watch the worms at work in a video after the jump.

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