• In Vitro Printer

    This 3D-printer is influenced by the bone healing process that takes place within the body (in vivo). The In Vitro Printer however, runs outside the body – in vitro. Layer by layer, altering different materials, the printer bilds a bone like structure. And just as with bone healing the printer uses no electric power nor computer control. The human body is the machine.

    The In Vitro Printer is a 3D-printer influenced by the bone healing process that takes place within the body (in vivo). The In Vitro Printer however, runs outside the body – in vitro. Layer by layer, altering different materials, the printer builds a bone like structure. And just as with bone healing the printer uses no electric power nor computer control. One could even argue that the printer doesn’t exists since it only runs when the predominant part, the human body, is present. The human body is the machine. The printer is programmed by physical matrixes in resemblance to how cells are programmed to organise bone healing. There are also an arrangement with scaffolds to make the process easier, comparable to assisted bone healing that bridges large fractures with small calcium scaffolds.

    Real bones are made of collagen and calcium in microscopical thin layers. When a bone is injured the bone healing process within the body starts immediately. The formation of bone demands an in vivo (within the body) environment and it’s a process that seems almost magical as the bone heals automatically. The bone “wants” to heal. However, when a massive bone defect occurs the bone needs help to heal. Professor Magnus Tägil is a specialist and researcher within bone healing at the Department of Orthopaedics at Lund University. The origin of this project is the conversations held with him.

    The material printed in the In Vitro Printer is a vegan version of collagen, calcium and other substances closely linked to bone. The aim is not to print bone though, but to be influenced by (or embody) the “bone-making-process” and then move freely around this topic. The outcome of the In Vitro Printer is both rough and erratic, the human presence is inevitable.