Richard Clarkson has created the very first inflatable 3D print for his Blossom Project which was inspired by a blooming flower and then created using a 3D printer.
The Blossom Project is a manufacturing-based experiment which has pushed the current boundaries of 3D printing and created a unique 3D print than when inflated pushed air into a network of curved hollow chambers that make up the structure of the 3D print.
The air is applied using a small bellow and pushes against each chamber in the petal to create the blossoming movement and reveal the interior of the complex structure. Watch the video below to see the 3D print in action and learn more about the Blossom Project from its creator. Who explains a little more:
“Recent advances in 3D printing now allow the simultaneous deposition of different build materials in a single print. In a similar way to nature, materials can be distributed seamlessly within objects for structural and functional advantage.
“Blossom” explores the blending of two materials with varying physical properties transitioning from flexible to rigid. The variation offers an opportunity to generate complex forms and dynamic structures that are impossible to make by any other means.
The research into applications of these Digital Materials™ has resulted in what is believed to be the world’s first inflatable 3D print. Forcing air into the cavities of the print causes it to ‘bloom’ and thereby reveal the complexity of its physical structure.”