3D printed air purifier made from waste oyster shells
Designed by Ella Williams
About the project.
The materials, manufacturing and consumption habits of today are having a devastating impact on the world of tomorrow. We must transition to a circular approach where local materials drive design and nothing is wasted.
Ostra is an air purifier with a 3D printed biomaterial casing made from waste Sydney rock oyster shells. It integrates both technical and biomaterial components into a cohesive multi assembly product. The casing is natural, biodegradable and localised, with the shells sourced from local Sydney fish shops who throw away thousands everyday. The oyster shells are combined with agar and reinforced with natural hemp fibres, creating a speckled, clay-like material which is 3D printed. This localized production method harnesses the geometric complexity and scalability of 3D printing, pulling biomaterials away from purely craft-based techniques. Ostra celebrates the material and production method, with a woven, 3D-printed toolpath used to create the necessary air vents. This forms a natural and authentic aesthetic which has not yet been explored in air purification devices. It results in a precious, functional and sustainable object which is designed to be displayed rather than a plastic box to be hidden in the corner.
Ostra shapes material attitudes for a better future as it instills a mindset of care and maintenance. Users are encouraged to take part in a maintenance ritual, which not only improves the physical durability of the product but builds a stronger product-user relationship through active material participation. Alongside this, Ostra exists within a product service system that addresses repairs, end of life, customisation and product upkeep. At the end of life the air purifier is collected, the technical components refurbished and reused and the casing biodegraded. Ostra demonstrates the potential of local and sustainable design, reminding us that waste matters.