A 3D-Printed Home for Insects: GENESIS Eco Screen

3D printing giant BigRep has developed an urban and insect habitat installation project completely printed from recycled materials. Learn all about the so-called GENESIS Eco Screen, how it is produced and where it will be installed!

Header Picture © BigRep

Technology has always been the means to simplify life for humans. Every innovation brought along a raised standard of living and helped humankind overcome one or two challenges. 3D printing has solved a lot of problems that humankind faced during the recent years. Prostheses are among the main application fields of 3D printing technologies, but in fact, the possibilities are endless.

BigRep has launched a 3D-printed urban and insect habitat installation project. The project is called the GENESIS Eco Screen and it’s a promising alternative to natural insect habitats that are getting extremely seldom, unfortunately.

A Homeless Bee (and Other Insects) Shelter

The purpose of the GENESIS Eco Screen is outstanding, but the implementation is very sustainable as well, as they use 100% recycled plastic materials. More precisely, the insect shelter consists mainly of PET bottles that are collected, cleaned and pre-processed, before they are shredder and lastly processed into a printable raw material.

The modern design was carried out with generative algorithm tools and resembles the typical 3D structure that we also see at other such innovative projects (take a look, for example, at the 3D-printed living seawall tile by Volvo to combat ocean plastic pollution here!).

The habitat design features an embedded water and drainage system for plants and insect habitats to come as close as possible to natural insect shelters. All in all the structure is 4 x 4 metres in size and is printed using BigRep PETG and BASF Innofil3D rPET.

The Final Result

The construction will be installed at the Fiction Forum exhibition centre in Berlin. Daniel Büning, BigRep CIO and NOWLAB Managing Director says about the project:

“We want to deliver ground-breaking innovation to maximise the potential of AM [additive manufacturing], thereby creating entirely new applications. With this project, we are introducing a new and truly sustainable manufacturing protocol to the manufacturing of polymer objects using multiple pre-used plastic materials. The GENESIS Eco Screen shows how society can develop a greener future – with circular economy solutions that are sustainable, local, modular and collaborative.”

The GENESIS Eco Screen is the perfect example for how advanced manufacturing technologies can make use of recycled materials and local resources and do something good as a result. For a visual impression of the project, take a moment for this short video:

© BigRep

A True 3D Printing Giant

The company BigRep was founded in 2014 and should be well-known to all printing fans. Chances are that you already read about them on our blog, as they were also responsible for the first 3D-printed motorcycle. Their aim from the very start was to transform the 3D printing and manufacturing business and it seems that they are on a good way.

The GENESIS Eco Screen is a joined effort of BigRep’s NOWLAB innovation hub and Berlin-based artist Lindsay Lawson in order to showcase the endless possibilities and the potential of 3D printing technologies especially with regard to a sustainable means of manufacture. The project was actioned at the Thaersaal of Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

We’re looking forward to the future of 3D printing technologies and which new insights #drupa2020 will provide!

3D-printed shelters for insects might be the solution to save the biodiversity of insects and will hopefully perpetuate those at the verge of extinction. Do you know of other such game-changing inventions to make our planet a little bit greener?