Perhaps there is an application here in male enhancement. Not that I need it. Or make car bodies and structure such that, after a collision, the car springs back to its original shape by the application of electricity. The fantasy is that a laptop computer can be made to fit in your pocket. The reality, as Alex points out, lends itself in the short term to, toys, robotics, micro-actuators, and radio controlled models.
Shape-memory actuators for space applications continue to be a hot topic. Although calculations vary, it's been said that it may cost around $10,000 per pound to put something in low Earth orbit. That being the case, anything that can take weight out of actuation systems (for example, to deploy solar arrays) has a high value. There is a company in Colorado called CTD which has done some interesting work with shape memory polymers for this type of application.
I think it will be a while before the cost of this technology reaches the point where it will make sense to use it in consumer-oriented applications. The advanced concepts described in this article are not likely to be realized next week or next year.
However, it's good for design engineers to educate themselves about these materials now, so that when they become more readily available, engineers can take advantage of their unique properties. Shape memory materials can open all kinds of interesting design opportunities, some of which can barely even be imagined now.
Very interesting. Thank you for the story. Some years back i worked on the metal with thermal memory. NASA had use it to pre-orient some tools in a specific shape and then upon use in space, expose them to certain temperature and resape them into a useful shape.
By experimenting with the photovoltaic reaction in solar cells, researchers at MIT have made a breakthrough in energy efficiency that significantly pushes the boundaries of current commercial cells on the market.
In a world that's going green, industrial operations have a problem: Their processes involve materials that are potentially toxic, flammable, corrosive, or reactive. If improperly managed, this can precipitate dangerous health and environmental consequences.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is