A 3D printed artistic carbon storage made of mussel shells

UK-based artistic studio IM-A Studio designed an artistic object you can use to hold items using AI and generative design, and is 3D printed with PLA containing mussel shells.

Aquaculture, the cultivation of shellfish, algae and molluscs, aims to offer an alternative to intensive farming and fishing. Mussels store CO2 inside their shells while they grow, thus lowering carbon emissions. While they are consumed on nearly every continent, the shells are usually discarded, releasing the stored CO2 back into the atmosphere. Returning the shells to the water or repurposing them as a bio-material ensures that the carbon footprint of the mussel production cycle does not increase.

Called Your Personal Carbon Storage (YPCS), the project is ‘a work of art, a place to keep your items and sustainable carbon storage in one beautiful object’. It questions how long art should last, and wonders what its role should be in our daily life. While it doesn’t provide answers, it aims to be part of the conversation.

The object is designed using AI and generative design, and 3D printed using a mussel-based PLA (polylactic acid, a compostable bioplastic). The material can be recycled an infinite amount of time, and is compostable after use.

Currently, two limited edition designs are available; each piece is one out of 30.

Photos: Viktar Kalesnikau