Bees One can see bees as perfect, small machines fabricating with high precision wax honeycombs to protect their larvae and store honey and pollen. They are ‘programmed’ to reproduce in an endless series a very optimised structure of hexagonal cells with very thin walls. This construction is fabricated by bees producing their own construction material and applying it in a geometrically perfect structure which optimises material consumption. The closed end of the honeycomb is also perfect in terms of material and space use (section of a rhombic dodecahedra) and gives rigidity to the whole structure.

A honeycomb in the 'fabrication' process. wikipedia / Makro Freak / 2007-06-04

Closed bottom of honeycomb cells. wikipedia / Waugsberg / 2007-08-31

Living wicker walls The fabrication of baskets is based in a technique that waves natural fibres in a very robust hull where the skin is the structure: a very old additive fabrication method used by humans that implies a small amount of operations laid down in tradition. Forming walls of woven living wicker is a ‘construction’ technique resulting in very stable structures which grow for themselves. Can this be considered additive fabrication? The plant grows by accumulating cells. The ‘architect’ just waves the branches when they are flexible and waits until they grow. This results, by all means, in a very slow fabrication process!

Wicker basket walls, detail. (cc)by-sa / R.Portell / 2010-10-18

Living wicker construction. (cc)by-sa / R.Portell / 2010-10-18