Project no. 207
Grow Technology – a New Manufacturing Method
M. Ørting and C.Thomsen
DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
To ensure a responsible production in the future, it is worth exploring new manufacturing
methods for the creation of the products of tomorrow. This project is based on the idea of
utilizing natural materials to grow and obtain certain geometries and make use of this in a new
manufacturing method - Grow technology. It is ideally possible to grow the products of
tomorrow by using this manufacturing method. With this there is a potential for a great change
in future product’s environmental burden since this could be a greener alternative to traditional
By firstly exploring the world of natural growing materials and possible applications of the
manufacturing method, the concept of growing a chair out of bamboo has been chosen for
further development. The concept - as sketched out in Figure 1 - is based on the hypothesis
that it is possible to manipulate bamboo by physical constraints in its growth stage to achieve
the shape of a chair.
Figure 1: Concept sketch of a growth-mold fixated on a bamboo sprout to grow a chair.
By experimental work with different iterations of growth-molds on new bamboo sprouts the
possibilities and limitations of the concepts has been explored.
The manipulation of bamboo shows great potential and for the future design work of growing
a chair out of bamboo the following challenges have been discovered in the experimental work
The fixation of the growth-mold on new sprouts because the sprouts shoot with great
No sharp corners in chair design – always a little bend radius for better guidance.
Growth-mold needs to allow air circulation to avoid moisture build-up.
Initial direction of sprouts and bamboo foliage needs to be taken into consideration
in design of growth-mold.
Reusability of growth-mold for sustainable mass production.
By further exploration of the possibilities of manipulation of bamboo the manufacturing method
can be transferred into a wide variety of product applications.