Biopolymer gel

Biopolymer gel

Biocraft

Biocraft pairs biopolymer gels and digital processing to produce fully custom material designed to supplement petroleum-based plastics with carbon capturing, plant-based alternatives.

This material is unique for its ability to dynamically interact with its surroundings and with us. Through carbon sequestration, Biocraft material scrubs the air of harmful greenhouse gasses, a process which occurs when the biopolymer binds carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds within the gel itself- meaning that anything made from Biocraft material can clean the air and act as a natural air filter.

The lifecycle of Biocraft’s carbon adsorbing material is designed to mimic the natural carbon cycle of our planet. Once saturated, the material can be disposed of safely in a garden, composting bin, or other organic disposal site where it degrades naturally, returning captured carbon to the Earth, improving soil quality and promoting growth. This process occurs naturally, without the excess energy or resources required to dispose of synthetics and commercial bioplastics.

Through the use of custom software, Biocraft gels are precisely 3D printed, resulting in a library of fully custom materials varying in qualities like texture, elasticity, opacity, patterning, and rigidity. Further, these biogels can be impregnated with additives like natural pigments to enhance vibrancy and colour, and structural pulps to increase tensile and compressive strength in materials designed for the production of durable goods such as furniture.

Two case studies, Carbon Stool and Bio Tiles demonstrate the aesthetic and performative versatility of Biocraft’s material and bio-digital approach.
Carbon stool is a lightweight, durable, and fully carbon-capturing piece of furniture. It consists of two components fabricated from three Biocraft material types: A load-bearing body made with a pulp aggregate core and a bespoke foam seat cushion, both laminated with a clay-pigment biopolymer coating. To be fully customised, the seat cushion was 3D printed using designs driven by an artificial intelligence neural net. This AI was trained on textures in nature with high surface area, which was then utilised to generate new patterns guided by seat pressure maps. The result is a 3D printed Biocraft foam seat design that balances comfortability with high surface area for optimal carbon capture.

Bio Tiles is a modular cladding system that transforms unused wall, column, or ceiling space into air-scrubbing surfaces. Moulded-in multiple depths, these modular, interlocking tiles increase filtering surface area and add relief to the flat surfaces they’re applied to. Composed of biopolymer aggregate cores, the tiles are robust and capable of being deployed on a larger scale, replacing traditional architectural materials with natural, carbon-capturing materials.

Biocraft’s purpose is to bring our built environment in sync with the natural one by presenting a material which participates in the planet’s natural cycles rather than opposing them. In doing so, Biocraft anticipates a future where products are designed using technology and nature in order to benefit our planet as much as ourselves.

Additional information

Biocraft utilises plant-based biopolymer that is paired with digital processes and formulated for non-standard 3D printing. The biopolymer material can be digitally simulated in the computer and 3D printed in complex forms with high precision. This technique is used to embed structural character into the 3D printed material through cross-sectional patterning and multi-materiality, increasing the filtration capacity of end products by printing them with custom surface textures.

Ingredients

Carbon-sequestering biopolymer gel.

Maker

Sutherlin Santo

References

Biocraft (Video)

Photo credits

Sutherlin Santo