Silicon Origami Folds From Flat To 3-D With A Drop Of Water

Scientists in the Netherlands have created flat shapes that open and close with a droplet of water into tiny cubes, pyramids and other three-dimensional structures.

With more research, the self-assembling, silicon-based shapes could lead to microscopic packages of drugs that release their therapeutic cargo directly where it is needed. The 3-D structures, about the size of a sand grain, could also open and close at specific locations, allowing for noninvasive microbiopsies from deep within the body.

“Possible shapes are in principle limitless as long as they can first be made on a flat surface,” said University of Twente graduate student Antoine Legrain.

Keep reading

Self-assembling printable robotic components | KurzweilAI
Printable robotic components that, when heated, automatically self-assemble into prescribed three-dimensional configurations have been developed by MIT researchers.

Printable robots that can be assembled from parts produced by 3-D printers have long been a topic of research in the lab of Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.


[1] Self assembling articles created by scientists in 2012, 1/100th the diameter of a human hair, they spontaneously assemble themselves into structures resembling molecules made from atoms.  Illustration courtesy of Yufeng Wang and Yu Wang.

[2] Previously, scientists had succeeded in building rudimentary structures from colloids. Electron microscope images of “colloidal atoms,” micrometer-sized particles with patches that allow bonding only along particular directions. From left to right: particle with one patch (analogous to a hydrogen atom), two, three, four (analogous to a carbon atom), five, six, and seven patches.
Image courtesy of Vinothan N. Manoharan and David J. Pine.


Title: Fluid Crystallization

Category: #selfassembly

Author: Skylar Tibbits

Year: 2013


Description : This installation investigates hierarchical and non-deterministic self-assembly with large numbers of parts in a fluid medium. 350 hollow spheres have been submerged in a 200 gallon glass water-filled tank. Armatures, modeled after carbon atoms, follow intramolecular covalent bonding geometries within atoms. Intermolecular structures are formed as spheres interact with one another in 1, 2, or 3-Dimensional patterns. The highly dynamic self-assembly characteristic of the system offers a glimpse at material phase change between crystalline solid, liquid, and gaseous states. Turbulence in the water introduces stochastic energy into the system, increasing the entropy and allowing structures to self-assemble; thus, transitioning between gas, liquid, and solid phases. Polymorphism may be observed where the same intramolecular structures can solidify in more than one crystalline form, demonstrating the versatile nature of carbon as a building block for life.


Benjamin Vermeulen’s furniture is even easier to assemble than Ikea.

more here

4D printing enabling self assembling programmable materials such as active carbon fiber


MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab has developed materials that can be programmed to transform their shape autonomously – from flexible carbon fibre and hybrid plastics to wood grains and textiles.

Skylar Tibbits, director of Self-Assembly Lab and research scientist at MIT – as well as one of the WIRED2014 Innovation Fellows – spoke to exclusively about his research lab’s latest discoveries with these programmable materials.




¿Podrían los edificios un día construir ellos mismos?

Suena increíble, pero es lo que Skylar Tibbits, director de SelfAssembli Lab en el MIT, junto con Arthur Olson, del Instituto de Investigación Scripps, estudian. Es decir, cuales son los componentes básicos para un ensamblaje molecular, para llevarlo a todas las escalas,  tecnologías de auto-ensamblaje en la construcción.

El ejemplo:

Un frasco de vidrio único en su contenido, comprendido de 4 a 12 piezas de color rojo, negro o blanco. Cuando se agita, las partes se encuentran y se auto-ensamblan en varias estructuras moleculares. Los frascos contienen una etiqueta personalizada que identifica el tipo de la estructura molecular y los ingredientes para el auto-ensamblaje éxito.

Aplicaciones futuras:

Autoensamblaje programable ha sido ampliamente estudiado a nivel molecular desde hace algún tiempo. Sin embargo, las primeras aplicaciones a gran escala se han llevado a cabo en ambientes extremos, de gravedad casi cero o flotabilidad neutra, donde la aplicación de energía puede provocar un aumento de la interacción. Como nos sugieren sus investgadores, vamos a imaginar, que se utiliza una ola submarina para activar el auto-ensamblaje de estructuras de varios pisos, o que los componentes se dejan caer desde gran altura para desplegar las estructuras y que queden totalmente levantadas, y así generar estructuras espaciales, modulares  e incluso transformables.



Web del proyecto, bioselfassembly

Self-Assembly Lab

Perfil, bio de Skylar Tibbits.

Link al seminario Smart Materials de Metropa School ®
Eley Kishimoto Flash Chairfix

I met Mark Eley some years back when I did an interview with him on his brand, and he subsequently brought me to The Ivy in London with a few of his friends for ridiculously expensive fish and chips. 

I’m currently planning a follow up interview with him and am pleased to see that his label has expanded well beyond fashion products. For example, this chair. I love a good flat folded chair, and this special edition between Ben Wilson and Eley Kishimoto is both cute and practical. Eyeing the child’s version for the little one.



Title: Crystal Growth

Category: #self-growth #selfassembly

Author: Tokujin Yoshioka

Year: 2012


Description: Tokujin Yoshioka does not sculpt his work, but grows it. His Venus chair was created by immersing a plastic mesh substrate into a tank filled with a chemical solution. Gradually crystals precipitate onto the substrate and give structure to the chair. It might not be the most comfortable place to take a seat, but it’s a great example of guided growth