“The Shoe That Grows” designed for children

January 8, 2018

Photo: The Show That Grows. In 2007, Kenton Lee was living in Nairobi, Kenya. One day he noticed a little girl wearing shoes that were way too small for her feet. Lee wondered, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand, so that kids always

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NASA’s BEAM textile module will stay on the ISS

December 20, 2017

BEAM is shown expanded on the tranquility nodule of the International Space Station. Photo: NASA. NASA has decided to keep the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) on the International Space Station (ISS). The textile module will stay attached to the ISS through 2020, or possibly longer. The ISS crew’s studies

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Soft robot “muscles” draw inspiration from origami

December 11, 2017

Wyss Institute, Harvard University Researchers from the Wyss Institute, Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed origami-inspired robot muscles that can lift up to 1,000 times their own weight. According to TechCrunch, the researchers say that the new, soft, robotic artificial muscles

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Pleated fabric canopy tops a floating church

December 6, 2017

Rendering by Denizen Works. The Diocese of London has commissioned architecture studio Denizen Works to design an unusual means of reaching church-goers: a floating church. The studio will collaborate with Turks boat builders to construct a canal boat church, meeting parishioners and neighbors where they are along the waterways. A

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Researchers create an energy-harvesting bio-battery

November 20, 2017

Researchers have created a bio-solar panel that could be scaled up as functioning wallpaper. Photo: Imperial College London Researchers at Imperial College London have created a two-in-one solar bio-battery and solar panel by printing living cyanobacteria and circuitry onto paper. The photosynthetic microorganisms have been used as ink and printed

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New loom promises make-at-home textiles

November 8, 2017

“Doti” desktop loom may add scale to cottage industry weaving. The Dot-Matrix Fabric Printer, nicknamed “Doti,” is an open-source, desktop jacquard loom designed for textile production at home. Pamela Liou is developing Doti as a project resident at Eyebeam, a nonprofit studio for collaborative experiments with technology located in Brooklyn,

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Saving money by 3D printing at home examined

November 7, 2017

Michigan Tech researchers set out to determine if the average U.S. home could save money by using a desktop 3D printer versus buying products from online retailers. An article by Beau Jackson at 3D Printing Industry outlines the findings. The researchers used NinjaFlex filament in an upgraded FlexyStruder extruder. The

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Carbon fiber roof appears to float

October 23, 2017

The Steve Jobs theater lobby is covered by the largest, self supporting fully carbon fiber roof in the world. Photo: © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners A lens-shaped carbon fiber roof weighing 80.7 tons seems to float above the lobby of the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in

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Architectural exhibit is an ultra-thin, self-supporting structure

September 25, 2017

Photos: © studio NAARO Architect and artist Marc Fornes has created “minima | maxima,” a site-specific installation made of ultra-thin powdered aluminum in composite layers. Not exactly “fabric,” but the TED Fellow’s concept in construction mimics the behavior of fabric, but with a structural strength that almost defies gravity. The

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Floating Cloud is also a lamp

September 6, 2017

Photo: Richard Clarkson Studio Floating Cloud, a magnetically levitating ambient lamp, merges the levitation technology developed by Dutch company Crealev with the form and function of the Cloud product of Richard Clarkson Studio LLC, Brooklyn, N.Y. The result of the collaborative project is a lamp, constructed of PETG (Polyethylene terephthalate), polyester

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