Motheye and MARAG : Nano-Scaled Anti-Reflective Coating

April 22nd, 2005 | Filed under: Fabrication Tech, Materials, Nanotech, Products | 1 Comment »

The eyes of moths have evolved to collect as much light as possible without reflection, in order to prevent moths being detected by predators. Motheye and MARAGâ„¢ films mimic this property with nano-scaled bumps reducing reflectivity to less than 1%.

Frounhofer | more info on motheye anti-reflective coating

via Blaine Brownell

Shaping Plastics with Light

April 14th, 2005 | Filed under: Future, Materials, Technology | 3 Comments »

Robert Langer and his colleagues at MIT have made the first plastic capable of changing shape according to the wavelength of light. Shine one wavelength and the plastic deforms. Shine a different wavelength and the shape returns to its original condition.

via MIT

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Superatoms : Alchemy and the 3-D Periodic Table

April 14th, 2005 | Filed under: Biotech, Fabrication Tech, Materials, Technology | 1 Comment »

Shiv N. Khanna and A. Welford Castleman Jr., and their experiments with Superatoms are about to bring the periodic table into a new dimension, literally. Dmitri Mendeleev’s classic 2-dimensional periodic table elegantly places elements in families and chemical activity. But with Superatoms, a cluster of atoms which can be coaxed into maintaining dramatically different properties, a 3rd-dimension for each element and its new synthetic states would be required. Superatoms open possibilities to develop highly controllable magical materials with applications most likely beyond our imagination.

via New Scientist (full article)| Innovations Report

Extreme Textiles : On View at The Cooper – Hewitt

April 12th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Fabrication Tech, Materials, Products, Technology | No Comments »

An exhibition, titled Extreme Textiles is now open at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (April 8 – October 30, 2005). The show displays some of the greatest innovations in high performance textiles. Organized in 5 categories (stronger, lighter, faster, smarter, safer), 150+ examples of applications from a prosthetic foot for sprinters to carbon fiber architecture are on view.

via NYT (full article) | Thanks, Neil

Desktop Nanofactory

April 8th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Fabrication Tech, Future, Materials, Nanotech, Products | No Comments »

Here’s a concept rendering of a desktop nanofactory from the Foresight Institute by John Burch. The white cubes represent the parts of the assembly from the molecular scale to the finished product. Imagine anything. Then print it.

FAB : Gershenfeld's Book on Future Fablabs

April 6th, 2005 | Filed under: Books, Computing, Design, Fabrication Tech, Future, Materials, Programming, Technology, Video | No Comments »

Neil Gershenfeld, the director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT and professor of the widely reported ‘How to make almost anything‘ class, has a book coming out on April 12, 2005 called FAB : The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication. In the book Gershenfeld argues that the next revolution is going to happen through the mass deployment of ‘personal fabrication’ laboratories (fablabs).

Watch Gershenfeld speak on C-Span : The Digital Future (1:33:06) and read an interview on Edge.

via FutureWire | Nature

Metallic Glass : The Perfect Alloy

April 2nd, 2005 | Filed under: Future, Materials, Products, Technology | No Comments »

Metallic glass eliminates the crystalline grain found in ordinary metals by rapidly cooling metal and by adding bulky metallic atoms to the mix. The random atomic structure allows no points of weakness, making the material 2 times stronger than titanium while allowing lower temperature malleability like plastics, making it an ideal material for forming high strength products. By overcoming brittleness and economic factors in its production, Liquidmetal Technologies is looking to mass produce the ‘perfect alloy’.

via New Scientist (full article)

One Minute Battery Charge by Toshiba

March 29th, 2005 | Filed under: Fabrication Tech, Materials, News, Sustainability | 3 Comments »

Toshiba’s new Lithium-Ion Super Charge Battery boasts an 80% capacity charge in 60 seconds and just a few more minutes for a full charge lasting considerably longer than regular lithium-ion batteries.

via The Register

Ferrofluid : Materializing Magnetic Fields

March 29th, 2005 | Filed under: Design, Mapping, Materials, Mathematics | 4 Comments »

Ferrofluid, often used as a mechanical damper by electronically controlling its viscosity, is also a great visualization tool as it responds the surrounding magnetic fields in 3-dimensions. Make some at home, or buy some online and watch it rapidly react to magnetism.

via notcot

Wiki entry | description and home made ferrofluid
EI | online store
Wondermagnet | online store and small description
CC Alive | chemistry website
NI Magnetic Products | online store
SC news | instant armor
SciToys | on magnetism
UVM | close-ups and playing with topology
Ken Cooper | stripes in ferrofluid

NitroCision : Cut Anything, Including TNT

March 28th, 2005 | Filed under: Fabrication Tech, Future, Materials, Technology | No Comments »

NitroJetâ„¢, originally created to cut radioactive materials, is now available through NitroCisionâ„¢. Although similar water jets (ex. Flow Int.), this method involves directing cold liquid nitrogen at high pressures which evaporates upon contact, leaving the slice without any secondary residue. Even unstable materials like TNT can be cut with CNC precision without having it blow up in your face. Alternatively, the same non-residual method could be used to remove surface materials by switching the liquid nitrogen to high temperatures and low pressures.

via SA