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Researchers find best routes to self-assembling 3-D shapes
Date:12/7/2011

r the icosahedron, dodecahedron, and truncated octahedron for the first time."

Gracias and colleagues at Johns Hopkins, who have been working with self-assembling structures for years, tested the configurations from the Brown researchers. The nets are nickel plates with hinges that have been soldered together in various 2-D arrangements. Using the options presented by the Brown researchers, the Johns Hopkins's group heated the nets to around 360 degrees Fahrenheit, the point at which surface tension between the solder and the nickel plate causes the hinges to fold upward, rotate and eventually form a polyhedron. "Quite remarkably, just on heating, these planar nets fold up and seal themselves into these complex 3-D geometries with specific fold angles," Gracias said.

"What's amazing is we have no control over the sequence of folds, but it still works," Menon added.


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Contact: Richard Lewis
Richard_Lewis@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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