The Kid Should See This

Liquid Printed Pneumatics: 3D printing stretchy silicone structures

Imagine 3D printing a balloon of sorts, a stretchy material that can expand or contract with the air that’s pumped into it. MIT’s Self-Assembly Laboratory, in collaboration with BMW, has developed a new way to print silicone into inflatable chambers of all shapes, sizes, functions, and levels of stiffness. They go from flat to fully expanded complex structures. The Dezeen video above shows how it’s printed and inflated.

From Dezeen:

The German auto brand wanted to see how the lab’s experimental engineering techniques could help it realise some of the shapeshifting features imagined in its futuristic concept cars… Potentially, the same technology could help to create a more dynamic interior, where seats sink away when not needed, or the dashboard can change shape. This is of interest to automakers because if cars go fully autonomous, it could free up space for passengers to enjoy a range of activities while they travel.

The technology can be used for endless other applications, as well. The project will be showcased at the V&A’s The Future Starts Here in London until November 2018: “From smart appliances to satellites, artificial intelligence to internet culture, this exhibition brings together more than 100 objects as a landscape of possibilities for the near future.”

Next: 3D-printed Metamaterial Mechanisms, Inflatable stick-on pouch motors, Dancing Paper, 8bit Harmonica, and Musical Umbrella by Ugoita, an origami-inspired model for reconfigurable materials, and a soft-bodied robot that uses camouflage.

Also at the V&A: The Exhale Bionic Chandelier.

This feature is being tested. Saves will disappear if you clear cookies. Find saved videos here.

🌈 Related videos

Coalescence cascade: A water drop dances in slow motion

Rion Nakaya

A full sized LEGO car with an air-powered engine

Rion Nakaya

3D-printed Metamaterial Mechanisms

Rion Nakaya

Climbing Wind Turbines for a Living

Rion Nakaya

This mini origami robot self-folds, performs tasks, & can be dissolved

Rion Nakaya

MIT’s electric cheetah-bot runs offleash

Rion Nakaya

ChainFORM, robot modules that can transform

Rion Nakaya

Self-Folding Crawler: A Transformer-style Origami Robot

Rion Nakaya

A helicopter bicycle prototype test flight in Prague

Rion Nakaya

Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.