July 29, 2014 AT 3:00 am

Imagining a scenario in which bees could 3D-print “concrete honey” #3DPrinting #ArtTuesday

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Writer Geoff Manaugh and designer John Becker imagine a scenario in which bees could 3D-print “concrete honey”, from Dezeen.

…Geoff Manaugh, former editor-in-chief of tech website Gizmodo, and his friend John Becker came up with the idea to use bees to “3D-print sculptural forms and architectural ornament into existence through the help of geometric formwork.”

The bees would act as “architectural printheads” – modified with synthetic biology so their honey-making glands produced concrete, which could be used to create structures from architectural details to full buildings.

“The ultimate goal would be to produce entire, free-standing architectural forms, but, in the meantime, the bees would be able to construct or repair statuary, architectural ornament, building details and more,” Manuagh told Dezeen, after publishing the project on his site BldgBlog.

Placed into moulds, scaffolds or formwork, the bees would be encouraged to build specific shapes, in a similar way to how designer Tomas Libertiny trapped the insects in a vase to create a honeycomb in the shape of the glass container.

“By raising a colony in a cast you could guide the growth and formation of the hive,” Becker told Dezeen. “They could be used to repair damaged structures, create sculptures, or if let loose create gorilla architectural ornament – printing unsolicited additions in urban and natural landscapes.” …

Read more about this scenario over at Dezeen.

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