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Ever since I bought the Muscle Wire Project Book in the mid ’90s and experimented with the “Flexinol” shape memory alloy I bought with it, I’ve been fascinated by this material. I’ve also been amazed at how few applications SMA has enjoyed in the real world since then. There appears to be a recent growth in real-world applications, in fields like medicine and aviation. New York-based architecture firm, The Living, have been demoing their concept for using SMA to create “living glass,” breathable surfaces that open up like fish gills using MCU-controlled SMA. Their presentation documents, in decent detail, how they went about the process. While this may or may not be a workable idea for walls and windows, hopefully it’ll get people thinking. SMA continues to seem like a really cool, futuristic technology in search of worthy apps. I mean, look at Flexon...

Living Glass presentation – [via] Link

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. underneaththeearth says:

    This would be great to replace the vents in a house with. It wouldn’t be too hard to provide the controller with real-time temperature feedback to regulate each room… and it would be darn cool to have a “breathing house”

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