3-D printed wearable tech with an eco-conscious bent? Welcome to the future, thanks to this design that recently won first place in the international Reshape Wearable Tech competition for 2015.
The Sponge Suit is made up of a 3-D printed elasto-plastic that forms a net-like shell surface, providing the flexibility and structure necessary to mold to the human body and contain the filler material. This material, called The Sponge, absorbs everything but water, making it an effective remover of contaminants in the ocean. From the Reshape description:
“The Sponge does not release the absorbed materials unless it is heated in high temperatures (1,000 degrees Celsius) to re-obtain its original liquid form. This property allows the Sponge to be recyclable as the liquid form is ready to be reshaped having been separated from its contaminants.”
While this means the mass-production and adoption of the Sponge Suit would probably have to wait for a time when recycling stations are set up to remove contaminants and recycle suits after a set amount of uses, the developments being made in this area are certainly leading us to, as Reshape imagines, “a future where everyone, with any shape and form of swimming outfit, can contribute to the cleanliness of the seas by a sports activity or simply a leisurely summer vacation.”