These creepily beautiful pod blossoms grew out of my desire to create a flower that would open and close with mechanical actuation. I was playing with a tentacle shape that two fellow Pier 9 Artists in Residence (Andreas Bastian and Anouk Wipprecht) had been experimenting with. I created many different iterations of it to see if it would give me the kind of form and motion I was looking for, and this was one of the shapes I happened upon along the way. Even though these particular forms didn't end up being the most practical from an actuation standpoint, I fell in love with the process of printing them as a closed bud and then watching them bloom as I cleaned them.
3D printing opens up the possibility to create many forms that couldn't be created by any other human process, and it was exciting to explore some of those possibilities with the advanced printing capabilities of the Objet 3D printers at Instructables. These flowers are printed in two materials simultaneously, a soft, Tango, material and a hard, Vero, material, allowing them to have both structure and flexibility.
The version I'm describing here works better as a static decoration, but it's structure does allow it to open and close manually, and I am working on a version that will be driven by a motor. My eventual goal is to attach the actuated form of these to a garment and make them interactive and illuminated. I'll be posting more Instructables as this adventure progresses.
*Headdress Photos by Alex Garris, Modeled by Farnaz Dadashi