If someone were to tell you five years ago that you would be able to 3D print a garden in the next few years, your disbelief would probably grow faster than the grass hair on a Homer Simpson Chia Pet. However the momentum of mixing digital fabrication with non-traditional materials doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon and the latest comes to us in the form of the ‘Print GREEN’, a 3D ‘Garden Printer’ from the students at the University of Maribor in Slovenia.

Tiskaj zeleno (Print GREEN)

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Nearly forty years ago Joseph Enterprises, Inc (also founders of the infamous Smart Clapper®) introduced the Chia Pet and it has since been one of the best-selling ‘As Seen on TV’ products ever (not to mention a licensing goldmine). The Chia Pet line of products consists of various shapes of hollow ceramic bases with grooves on the side containing chia seeds (Salvia Columbariae) which are then moistened by the end user to create a ‘fur-like’ effect on the clay surface:

Well, that was fun. But will people soon be able to make their own Chia Pets?

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Using a mixture of soil, water, and grass seeds, students Maja Petek, Tina Zidanšek, Urška Skaza, Danica Rženičnik and Simon Tržan (and assistant professor Dušan Zidar) have developed a project that ‘unites Art, Technology, and Nature’…three things that always go well together. The platform is built from a modified CNC machine that features an automated frosting piping-like extruder head to layout some surprisingly clean shapes…considering that this is essentially mud:

Will we also be seeing updates to Sea Monkeys and Ant Farms soon as well?

(Images via Print GREEN)

Author

Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.