RE: metallic polymers

From: Makai Smith (
Date: Thu Oct 16 2003 - 23:34:22 EEST

The sciam issue is sitting on my desk (actually that's why I threw in the muscle part). While those are regular plastics, not metallic, the conducting sandwich could be, right? Then maybe you could 'print' a muscle (I'm imagining my paper-thin display rolling itself up after I put it down).

>build active sculptural objects
Oh, man. How about building components? The article mentions the control of friction via changing surface texture...besides the interesting aesthetic possibilities, the architectural potential for 'active' or 'aware' buildings when combined with sensors.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2003 4:23 PM
To: Makai Smith;;
Subject: Re: metallic polymers [no disclaimers]

In a message dated 03-10-16 15:20:22 EDT, writes:

<< Hmm *wrinkles brow* the exploitation of electromagnetic effects?
 Transduction, vibratory, thermal? The accumulation of small effects.
 Bubblejets versus piezography? Fluid propulsion, hydraulic.
 Maybe even direct electroactive motion? Muscles.
 My customers won't want to fab their own robot at home...
 unless it can walk around to fetch them a beer ;)
 Is there research using metallic polymers for motors or some such
conventional propulsion? I can imagine a weight savings and there must be some other
material property benefits to exploit.

Take a look at the latest Scientific American Magazine.

There's a cover article about SRI's work in developing polymer-based
actuators to replace muscle function and for similar applications. High forces and
pretty good time constants - and while there are some conductive requirements
for electrodes and such (therein lie the tricks), the stuff uses el cheapo
off-the-shelf plastics.

No RP required. You might also consider that it would be an interesting way
to build active sculptural objects - just to pique your interest.

Probably also available on the web at


Ed Grenda
Castle Island Co. (email)

The Worldwide Guide to Rapid Prototyping

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