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 difficult to make by any other means.
Advances in 3D printing now allow the simultaneous deposition of different build materials in a single print. Similar to the way things are created in nature, materials can be distributed seamlessly within objects for structural and functional advantage. The research into applications of 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 internal structure.
Blossom focuses on two materials in particular; 'Tango Black' (a rubbery, flexible material) and 'Full Cure' 720 (an almost crystal-clear, solid material). Each bloom was created in Solidworks to be unique, both in terms of design (number of petals per layer, arrangement and size of support varies) and its compositional material make up.
While the sections with a higher percentage of Full Cure 720 provide structure and substructure, it is the curved chambers of the more flexible material that inflate and create the blooming effect. As air is gently pumped into the chamber it causes each petal to push the one in front of it and the flowers blossom.
The project had its debut opening during the 2012 DeSFoRM conference held at Victoria University of Wellington. Since then, it has also been shown at the ACADIA conference in Canada.
"Working with new materials presents new opportunities and is always challenging, but thats what’s so amazing about working with new technology. As a designer you are able to push it to its very limits and define those limits for those that follow you so that they can later push your limits beyond what you had ever imagined".