Pr(ink)t Plastic


What if we could produce colors and plastic from bacteria in our kitchens? What if we could create materials, colors and machines for building our objects? DIY is the idea of doing by yourself those activities reserved to the capitalist production system that encourages alienation and non-participation. Now imagine 7000 millions of people producing materials and machines out of bacteria in their kitchens. Project conceptualized during my first semester at HEAD Geneva, developed at Hackuarium bio-hackerspace with the collaboration of UNIGE and Prof. Xavier Perret. The result was exhibited at Fiera del Mobile di Milano in 2015.

Violaceum, the “magic ingredient” for the violet ink, has been found in salamanders back, some marine mollusks and fishes have yellow and bioluminescent bacteria that can be extracted and processed in our kitchen-lab and other bacteria produces a sort of plastic PHA. Doesn’t sound like a challenge to go out there hunting? Check the video.

Animals, symbiosis and cohabitation in domestic environments were the main axes of the project while the benefits of caring and taking advantage of living organisms it’s motto. All evolved surrounded by the DIY philosophy, that has flowed through electronics and laser cut machines to start leaking into the field of Biology and Biotechnology.

The process starts isolating the chromo-bacterias found in animals or soil for culturing and the extraction of their pigments. Once the pigments are extracted, they’re mixed with PLA (bio plastic made out of corn) to make coloured plastic fils ready to print in the 3D printer. For the project 2 kits of DIY machines where built, an extruder and a 3D printer.

More information about the project on the wiki.


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