Origami-like Inflatable Structures That Can Revolutionize The Future

Origami-like Inflatable Structures That Can Revolutionize The Future - Aeromorphs

Filling something with air is a useful way of transforming an object—provided you can do so precisely. We see it in something as simple as a balloon or even the airbag in your car. The students at MIT’s Tangible Media Group have created Aeromorphs, a new technology that creates origami-like inflatables that can transform in unique ways when filled with air, opening the door to new kinds of toys, wearables, packaging methods, safety systems, and much more.

Origami-like Inflatable Structures That Can Revolutionize The Future - Aeromorphs

With Aeromorphs, PhD student Jifei Ou and the rest of his team at the Tangible Media Group have created a way of programming papers, plastics, and fabrics. With the use of a custom tool that lets you create patterns based on the inflated shape, Aeromorphs takes the exported file and converts it to prototyping machine fit with a custom heat-sealing head, which creates the necessary pockets of air across the material a bit like a sewing machine makes stitches. When inflated pneumatically, the fabric or material deforms into a predictable shape, as dictated by the team’s software.

Origami-like Inflatable Structures That Can Revolutionize The Future - AeromorphsOrigami-like Inflatable Structures That Can Revolutionize The Future - Aeromorphs

Aeromorphs has plenty of technical potential. From a practical perspective, packaging could be revolutionized by Aeromorphs, for the simple reason that the industry could design light, thin airbags that easily wrap around a product to protect it when inflated, further streamlining the shipping process in factories. Similarly, it’s easy to see how this sort of approach could be used by automakers to create a new generation of safer airbags.

Origami-like Inflatable Structures That Can Revolutionize The Future - Aeromorphs

via Fast Co. Design

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