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Weird science: New 3D material could herald shape-shifting buildings (VIDEO)

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 Cinnamon    14,423

The world of architecture might just be about to get a little more exciting – and malleable – with the advent of a new 3D shape-shifting material that can support thousands of pounds in weight.

Researchers at Harvard University have created an origami-like foldable material that gains stability not from its composition, but from the shapes it can expand and contract into. 

The development opens up the possibility of mutating buildings and pop-up emergency shelters, as the material can be instantly folded flat for easy transport before transforming at the flick of a switch into a multitude of shapes and sizes.

According to the creators, the “metamaterial” is tunable in “shape, volume and stiffness,” and could even support the weight of a fully grown elephant. The material is based on a form of origami known as Snapology, a design concept that involves folding paper into 3D geometric shapes.


See video at link. This is pretty cool stuff! 

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Team Uzi   
Team Uzi

Very kewl Cinn.

This reminded me of another material that has my undivided attention called Nitinol or "muscle wire". It's a nickel based wire that contracts when a small electric current is applied to it. It's application for robotics is amazing.



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