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Filaments modeled after Earth’s fastest falcon

April 22nd, 2017|Categories: Additive Manufacturing, Energy Efficiency, Engineering|Sectors: , , , , |

Filaments modeled after Earth's fastest falcon

The peregrine falcon is delivering some “real innovation and benefits” to aeronautics researchers in England, where they’re copying the bird’s feathers to 3D print filaments that mimic its ability to sense airflow changes, according to this 3D Printing Industry article. It could help create safer, more aerodynamic, and fuel efficient airplanes.

Curated by Janine Benyus

Molecular movement of plants reveal amazing mechanics

April 20th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Molecular movement of plants reveal amazing mechanics

While members of the plant kingdom may appear to move only when acted upon by an outside force, time lapse photography of twisting vines, unfurling flowers, or popping seed pods betrays the programed movement of plants. Underlying such dynamics are the juxtaposition of clockwise and counterclockwise “twisted” molecules. According to this My Paper article, scientists in Europe have begun to mimic this principle with exciting potential applications in robotics, medicine, and more.

Curated by Mark Dorfman

Lightweighting Principles Inspired by Nature

April 11th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Engineering, Infographic, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , |

Lightweighting Principles Inspired by Nature

During her Synapse webinar, Lightweighting Models Beyond Bones, Biomimicry 3.8 co-founder and author Janine Benyus reviewed a set of twelve lightweighting principles inspired by the natural world. Now, we’ve turned that into an infographic as a quick and easy reference to how nature uses materials efficiently and creatively without compromising functionality.

Curated by Janine Benyus

Innovation ideas from the super strength of sandworm jaws

April 1st, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Textiles|Sectors: , |

Innovation ideas from the super strength of sandworm jaws

Sandworms use their powerful jaws to catch prey. Additionally, these tough but flexible jaws can adapt to different pH conditions. This MIT article shows that researchers found that the material that makes up their jaws can strengthen with the addition of zinc ions, and metal crosslinks in the material’s molecular structure make it more flexible and dynamic. Sensors and soft robotics could benefit from studying the sandworm jaw.

Curated by Robyn Klein

Good things come in nano packages

March 24th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Good things come in nano packages

Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have revealed deeper secrets about tiny compartments inside bacteria that enable them to manage chemicals and chemical processes while protecting the rest of the organism. These encapsulation systems could inspire more efficient and effective applications in chemical manufacturing, drug delivery, and material science.

Curated by Mark Dorfman

Engineering, biomimicry fusion creates pavilion that grows

March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Engineering, Life's Principles, Materials, Product Design, Structures|Sectors: , , , , |

Engineering, biomimicry fusion creates pavilion that grows

The Elytra Filament Pavilion is now displaying in Germany. The pavilion, inspired by the hexagonal structures in beetle wings, is woven by a robot. This Inhabitat article mentions that real-time sensing data directs how the pavilion grows, opening the door for new thinking on how robots and engineering can help our designs evolve (as well as meet other Life’s Principles that seem incongruent with the built design).

Curated by Jamie Dwyer

Infographic: Lightweighting Principles Inspired by Nature

March 22nd, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, News, Structures|Sectors: , , |

Infographic: Lightweighting Principles Inspired by Nature

During her recent Synapse webinar, Lightweighting Models Beyond Bones, Janine Benyus reviewed a set of twelve lightweighting principles inspired by the natural world. Now, we’ve turned that into an infographic as a quick and easy reference to how nature uses materials efficiently and creatively without compromising functionality.  Go here to get the free download!

Curated by Erin Rovalo

Mimicking tooth enamel to create the next super material

March 17th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials, Resilience|Sectors: , , |

Mimicking tooth enamel to create the next super material

This is a perfect illustration of how abstracting the design principle from tooth enamel can lead to a novel material for plane hulls. Structural materials of most transportation devices have the same functional needs (e.g. strength, manage vibration, crack resistant) as tooth enamel, so abstracting the strategy helped a team at the University of Michigan emulate the tooth’s secret to success. According to this Gizmondo article, they used only using metal and polymer, rather than calcium and protein.

Curated by Dayna Baumeister

Scientists look to octopi to rethink robots

March 16th, 2017|Categories: Engineering, Materials|Sectors: , |

Scientists look to octopi to rethink robots

A common challenge in biomimetic design is our own limitations in materiality compared to that observed in the natural world. Nature has recently published a paper from robotics scientists making new leaps in the ability to mimic the soft-bodied articulation of octopi by rethinking typically rigid aspects of robotic construction, such as batteries.

Curated by Erin Rovalo

Lightweighting Models Beyond Bones

March 8th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Engineering, Materials, Structures, Webinar|Sectors: , |

To access this content, you must purchase Lightweighting Models Beyond Bones, Individual Subscription, Corporate Subscription or Synapse 1-Week Trial, or log in if you are a member.

Lightweighting Models Beyond Bones

In this recorded webinar, biomimicry expert and author Janine Benyus shares untapped insights from the natural world on structural optimization. She reveals some of nature’s shapes, surfaces, and interior architectures that could lead to new innovations in structural design and manufacturing techniques, such as additive manufacturing.

Available to view on-demand | 60 minute recorded webinar

Curated by Janine Benyus