Self-Assembly Lab, MIT + BMW Design.

Liquid Printed Pneumatics is a collaborative project between BMW Design and Self-Assembly Lab, MIT to design the first printed inflatable material,  a technology that self-transforms, adapts and morphs from one state to another. The inflatable silicon sculpture was made using the Self-Assembly Lab’s Rapid Liquid Printing technique which involves extruding material from a computer-controlled nozzle into a tank of gel, where it is left to harden. This allows for the use of softer materials that in other forms of 3D printing would collapse under the weight of gravity before they are set.

The vision was to create dynamic car interiors, where seats sink away when not needed or transform for adaptive human comfort and cushioning and trim parts can change shape to free up space for passengers to enjoy a range of activities while they travel fully autonomous. The silicone printed object is made out of 3D printed air and water-tight chambers that can change shape depending on the amount of air pressure in the system. The pneumatic controls allow the printed structure to transform into a variety of shapes, functions or stiffness characteristics.

Self-Assembly Lab Team: Bjorn Sparrman, Shokofeh Darbari, Rami Rustom, Maggie Hughes, Schendy Kernizan, Jared Laucks, Skylar Tibbits

BMW Team: Sophie Richter, Akos Stegmar