A 3D printed ‘tree’

Design practice EcoLogicStudio designed a 3D printed ‘tree’ made from algae based biodegradable polymer, which carries out photosynthesis.

Called Tree One, the living carbon capturing sculpture designed by artificial intelligence and bio-digitally grown. The sculpture “re-metabolizes and stores the carbon molecules into its trunk and canopy while releasing oxygen into the atmosphere”. The tree integrates 40 glass photobioreactors hosting 500 litres of living Cyanidium algae cultures. These bioreactors can capture as much carbon dioxide as 12 large trees, the equivalent of a small urban forest.

The tree is designed by algorithms that combined knowledge of arboreal systems with architectural logic. The Tree One trunk is entirely made of algae-based biopolymers. It derives its strength from the unique pleated morphology inspired by the fibrous trunk of actual trees. The production was possible thanks to pioneering robotic 3D printing processes.

The 40 photobioreactors, a physical extension of the root system of the tree, are positioned in a phyllotaxis pattern. These generated iterations connect to the roots of the Tree One following shortest-path-finding algorithms.

The Tree One is exhibited at the Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul. It is part of EcoLogicStudio’s Habitat One project, which envisions the architecture of the carbon neutral city.

Photos: EcoLogicStudio