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3D Printing the Living

3D printing, with all of its new marvels and creations, has given us amazing wonders to keep our eye upon. Many 3D printers can make almost anything out of some metals or plastics. However, there is a new type of printer that is much more earth-friendly, for it can 3D print the earth itself, or, plants upon the earth.


The project that began the eco-friendly printer was Project PrintGREEN, which has aimed to create on-demand gardens by creating living prints. The “ink” of the machine is where the real magic happens; it is made by a combination of soil, seeds, and water, which can print in the shape of any form or letter. These forms then sprout the desired plants, flowers, or grasses from their shapes. PrintGREEN cleverly uses the slogan “Print, because it is green” as a counter remark to printing on excessive amounts of paper that are often wasted or not recycled properly.


Though this project is not entirely cloning and recreating plants, it is amazing that technology has come so far as to print living organisms. It does make one wonder if the future of 3D printing will have any connection with the technology advancements for cloning as well.

Students of the Faculty of Education Maribor, in the Department of the Fine Arts, worked and created this project. They described one of their projects in detail and the symbolism behind it from its combination of technology, art, and nature. The students shared their view on creating the living design of the “Grass Bowl.” This is a structure that was printed with soil, and turns green with time and the growing of grass. This gives new meaning to the idea of “watching the grass grow”, and pushes us to keep our minds jogging about the combination of technology and nature.


--Jessalyn Kieta

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