MIT’s Self Assembly Lab researches and invents programmable and self-assembly material technologies. In collaboration with Swiss designer Christophe Guberan, the Lab has created a unique printing process that results in objects that can be inflated, deflated, packed, stored, shipped, re-inflated and so on.
Like other submersion 3D printers, the material is printed in a gel tank and gets washed with water after it has finished printing. What is different about this technique is the resulting lightweight and packable material. The finished product only needs the addition of air/gas in order to achieve its final form.
This pneumatic material and its creation through rapid 3D printing opens up new possibility at every stage of a product’s lifecycle (design, production, packaging, shipping, recycling…).