Chromatose is a series of responsive 3D printed ‘synthetic organisms’ grown at the intersection point of the natural and digital worlds. Each organism opens slowly to reveal their colourful insides, and close quickly to protect themselves when touched.

Chromatose exploits the very latest capabilities of 3D printers, which now have the ability to fabricate objects in varying colour and rigidity. The organisms were fabricated with an Objet 350 Connex3, which prints at 16-micron layer resolution. They flaunt a range of colours and hardnesses, which are structurally composed to control their movement. Each arm is able to be opened pneumatically with small channels embedded within them. They open just enough to rest at their inverted position. This means with a light touch they quickly snap back into their concave position.

Chromatose speculates on the ever-blurring line that divides the natural and digital world. The organisms’ form, movement, and behaviour are informed by natural flora, fauna, and phenomena, yet they are modelled and fabricated entirely digitally.

With code and algorithms, we have the ability to write or script a digital DNA of anything and everything. This can then be modified and mutated as if it were actual DNA, dictating the organism’s qualities and characteristics. Such objects are then able to be physically manifested due to recent advances in digital fabrication technologies. These opportunities offer us the unprecedented ability to fully exercise and implement biomimetic systems and structures, with which we are able to simulate, reproduce, and even enhance organisms found in nature.

DNA and digital code will soon be tantamount…

Interaction video_

Project team & credits_

Mark Wilson
Victoria University of Wellington