SUMMARY: Materiome is a library of nature-inspired 3D printable materials. Local communities can contribute by measuring the properties of their materials with our toolkit. Our mission is to enable anyone, anywhere to use materials so elegant, so ingenious, that they serve human purpose on the largest scale, nourishing life itself.

PROBLEM SPACE: “3D printing is a revolution in the science and art of making things. This revolution is not just about the tools – hardware or software. It is about what you can do with them. It is the way 3D printers use digital information to marry materials and structure – matter and form – in ways that previously only nature could do.

Taking a systemic view, 3D printing is shifting where and how we can fabricate our physical world. Just as digital information enables local actors to participate in producing goods like videos and news, 3D printing allows local actors to participate in producing physical goods. Individuals are making prosthetic limbs, bicycles and drones with their own 3D printers, and community labs are sprouting up from the Arctic to the Amazon, making medical instruments and local housing. 3D printing start-ups are entering footwear, construction and automotive markets, traditionally the territory of multinationals.

This shift opens a critical need: for local production, we need local materials. We need to move from rigid global supply chains to flexible local networks, from intensive resource extraction to diverse nutrient cycling. Just as other organisms do, we need to learn to use the materials around us.”

SOLUTION: “Materiome is a library of 3D printable materials. For each material, users can view its strength and flexibility, and explore how these properties change when it is printed with nature-inspired patterns.

Natural organisms have created a wondrous variety of materials adapted to every niche on the planet by layering polymers and minerals in patterns that cleverly alter how the material behaves. When beeswax is layered in a honeycomb pattern, it becomes strong and lightweight. By browsing our library of properties, users can be inspired to see how locally available ingredients can become high performance materials.

The recipe for each material in the library will be open source, just like nutrients in nature, allowing users to view the list of ingredients, and understand how to print with it. We focus on materials made from bio-based and recycled ingredients as they are widely available, supporting the growth of local materials for 3D printing.

Materials in the library will be sourced from scientific research as well as local communities worldwide. We have developed an open source, low cost toolkit for makerspaces and Fab Labs so people who make local materials can and measure and add them to the library.”

CONTACT: [email protected]