Waste = Food (Cradle to Cradle)

Below is an inspiring documentary on the Cradle to Cradle design concept of the chemist Michael Braungart and the architect William McDonough:


Summary of the C2C approach:

“Rather than seeing materials as a waste management problem, as in the cradle-to-grave system, cradle-to-cradle design is based on the closed-loop nutrient cycles of nature, in which there is no waste. Just like nature, the cradle-to-cradle design seeks, from the start, to create buildings, communities and systems that generate wholly positive effects on human and environmental health. Not less waste and fewer negative effects, but more positive effects of regeneration, seed, growth, plant, product, “upcycle” and/or seed, growth, plant, product etc etc. One organism’s waste is food for another, and nutrients and energy flow perpetually in closed-loop cycles of growth, decay and rebirth. Waste equals food.

This is not just wishful thinking or “concept” design. The cradle-to-cradle philosophy is driving a growing movement devoted to developing safe materials, products, supply chains and manufacturing processes throughout architecture and industry. It is being adopted by some of the world’s most influential corporations, including Ford Motor Group, Nike and Herman Miller Furniture. Even densely populated China is looking at development and the impact of the rapidly growing population on housing development.”

via designindustry

Above: Nike Considered Design, made respecting the C2C protocol

Above: Herman Miller Mira Chair based on the C2C protocol

Above: The Ford Model U and its compostable body parts. Made respecting the C2C protocol

Above: Ford Motor Company River Rouge production plant (Michigan, USA)

Above:  Ferrer Research & Development Center, Barcelona; a.k.a. “The Butterfly Building” by William McDonough + Partners

Above Cradle to Cradle certification

Above: William McDonough (Architect) and Michael Braungart (Chemist)

More on Cradle to Cradle:
-Link to the book: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Wikipedia article
Cradle to Cradle Community
Cradle to Cradle Facebook Page
Interview of McDonough

For more documentaries, go to http://documentaryheaven.com/
via Rory O’Grady from A Beautiful Planet

3D Printed Titanium Jaw


Belgian and Dutch doctors have replaced an 83-year-old woman’s badly infected jaw with a bespoke 3D-printed mandible.

The lower jaw of the elderly woman needed to be removed, which would normally affect vital functions like breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing. Traditional reconstructive surgery is a lengthy and risky process, especially considering the age of the patient.

So instead, a tailor-made implant was created. Metal-focused additive manufacturer LayerWise from Leuven in Belgium used a method developed by the Research Institute Biomed at Hasselt University, also in Belgium, to create the fake jaw.

The 3D printers we’re familiar with generally use materials like plaster or resin. At LayerWise, they used powdered titanium, which is printed out layer by layer. A computer-controlled laser fuses the correct particles together. Finally, the printed jaw was given a bioceramic coating that was compatible with the patient’s tissue.

The artificial jaw weighs 107 grams — slightly heavier than a natural jaw, but “certainly not a problem,” Hasselt University says.

With more traditional methods it can take up to two days before an implant is completely ready. The 3D-printed jaw was in the patient’s mouth after four hours, and she was speaking and swallowing the next day. The other benefit of 3D printing is that it uses less material than other methods.

The operation was performed in June 2011 in a hospital in Sittard-Geleen, in the southeastern Netherlands. Announcing the breakthrough on 2 February, 2012, Biomed professor Jules Poukens said, “doctors and engineers together around the design computer and the operation table: that’s what we call being truly innovative.”


Via Wired

The Lotus Effect

Very interesting video showing how a lotus leaf reacts to liquid. Notice how even honey slides off the leaf like water.  Research is being done on material with a Lotus-like property, also known as superhydrophobicity.


Below is an image from a scientific paper published in 2008 titled Laser structuring of water-repellent biomimetic surfaces and fully available here. The image shows a comparison between the microscopic texture of a leaf and a surface shaped with a laser.  The artificial lotus shows very similar behaviour (and appearance) to the real leaf. A group in Germany called “Lotus-Effect” is also working on the reproducing the magic and has published great documentaries on their website.