Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Sentience: 3D printed living products

posted on 2022-07-28, 00:27 authored by Rewiri-Chrastecky, Tahi

This thesis is a research through design based investigation that explores the possibility of creating three dimensional (3D) products that are tactilely responsive, in an attempt to discover whether 3D printing technologies can be utilized to generate contemporary products that adapt, evolve and develop features synonymous with living organisms.

It looks at the possibility of sentient, 3D printed products and explores the potential that these objects have to interact with both the user and their surrounding environment. It also looks into the possibilities for 3D printed processes to allow for materials to better reflect the sensory and information processing capabilities of digital interface technologies. By placing a series of iterative design experiments within a contextual background this thesis not only explores what is currently possible, but theorizes about what could be possible in the future, when current technological and material limitations have been surpassed.

Essentially, this thesis focuses on answering one underlying question: can 3D printing be utilized to create a product that appears to be alive.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Industrial Design

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design


Stevens, Ross