Celebrated Dutch kinetic artist Theo Jansen has gone on record to state than via an “evolutionary” design strategy, his Strandbeest projects have evolved over the years into sophisticated organisms. They have developed artificial intelligence (able to cope with changes in their environment) and have now even have a means of reproduction. Because humans like them so much and find them attractive, people all over the early commit great effort and expense to reproduce them on their 3D printers and then introduce them into new ecosystems.
And one of the places in the world where humans are most eagerly participating in the rise in the population of the Strandbeests is in the Theo Jansen Standbeests Store on Shapeways:
Theo Jansen is a Dutch kinetic artist, creating new forms of life since 1990. He is father to the “Animari” beach creatures, or “Strandbeests”, made of PVC tubing, that walk the beach powered by the wind. As time progresses the Beests evolve, with the ultimate goal of living their lives on their own.
Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests have found a way to multiply by injecting their digital DNA directly into the Shapeways system. From now on several small strandbeests are available from his shop. Next to being a great abstraction of the inspiring work of Theo Jansen, these Strandbeests are also an example of what 3D printing is ultimately capable of. Right after birth from the 3D printer these models will work straight away and do NOT require any assembly.
3D printing is very suitable for rapid design changes, and as time goes by the Beests will evolve and new types of DNA will be added to the store, while others are removed. Expect more evolutions and variations in the future, with possible variation in size, shape, material or means of propulsion.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!