Traditional gardening takes time, effort and a propensity for getting your hands dirty. Saving you on every count, a team of art students from the University of Maribor in Slovenia have developed a CNC (computerised numerical control) machine that lets you print your own garden and pot plants, because art. And because environmental awareness. And because seeing grass grow from a mud outline of your own face is peak eerie.
Called PrintGREEN, the printer pipes out a mixture of soil, water and grass seed onto a felt-covered sponge surface in sophisticated shapes — think typography, intricate mandala-like designs and yes, even human faces. For extra cool factor, it can also print along the z-axis, forming three-dimensional mud pots that sprout their own grass.
The world needs more greenery. Leaving aside the fact that if we don’t have enough of it life on Earth will literally collapse, studies have shown that trees are nature’s valium and an extra ten on every block can actually calm us down. And they're pretty.
PrintGREEN is so far just an art piece, but it’s not the first venture 3D printing has made into the horticultural realm. Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can print your own grow box valve, your own urban farm, and your own hanging window garden. (That last one is also designed by a college student, this time from Philadelphia University. Kids these days.)