Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

biomimetics Related Abstracts

4 Conceptualizing a Biomimetic Fablab Based on the Makerspace Concept and Biomimetics Design Research

Authors: Petra Gruber, Ariana Rupp, Peter Niewiarowski


This paper presents a concept for a biomimetic fablab as a physical space for education, research and development of innovation inspired by nature. Biomimetics as a discipline finds increasing recognition in academia and has started to be institutionalized at universities in programs and centers. The Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center was founded in 2012 at the University of Akron as an interdisciplinary venture for the advancement of innovation inspired by nature and is part of a larger community fostering the approach of bioimimicry in the Great Lakes region of the US. With 30 faculty members the center has representatives from Colleges of Arts and Sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, geoscience, and philosophy) Engineering (e.g., mechanical, civil, and biomedical), Polymer Science, and Myers School of Arts. A platform for training PhDs in Biomimicry (17 students currently enrolled) is co-funded by educational institutions and industry partners. Research at the center touches on many areas but is also currently biased towards materials and structures, with highlights being materials based on principles found in spider silk and gecko attachment mechanisms. As biomimetics is also a novel scientific discipline, there is little standardisation in programming and the equipment of research facilities. As a field targeting innovation, design and prototyping processes are fundamental parts of the developments. For experimental design and prototyping, MIT's maker space concept seems to fit well to the requirements, but facilities need to be more specialised in terms of accessing biological systems and knowledge, specific research, production or conservation requirements. For the education and research facility BRIC we conceptualize the concept of a biomimicry fablab, that ties into the existing maker space concept and creates the setting for interdisciplinary research and development carried out in the program. The concept takes on the process of biomimetics as a guideline to define core activities that shall be enhanced by the allocation of specific spaces and tools. The limitations of such a facility and the intersections to further specialised labs housed in the classical departments are of special interest. As a preliminary proof of concept two biomimetic design courses carried out in 2016 are investigated in terms of needed tools and infrastructure. The spring course was a problem based biomimetic design challenge in collaboration with an innovation company interested in product design for assisted living and medical devices. The fall course was a solution based biomimetic design course focusing on order and hierarchy in nature with the goal of finding meaningful translations into art and technology. The paper describes the background of the BRIC center, identifies and discusses the process of biomimetics, evaluates the classical maker space concept and explores how these elements can shape the proposed research facility of a biomimetic fablab by examining two examples of design courses held in 2016.

Keywords: Design, biomimetics, Biomimicry, biomimetic fablab

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3 Biomimetics and Additive Manufacturing for Industrial Design Innovation

Authors: Axel Thallemer, Martin Danzer, Dominik Diensthuber, Aleksandar Kostadinov, Bernhard Rogler


Nature has always inspired the creative mind, to a lesser or greater extent. Introduced around the 1950s, Biomimetics served as a systematic method to treat the natural world as a ‘pattern book’ for technical solutions with the aim to create innovative products. Unfortunately, this technique is prone to failure when performed as a mere reverse engineering of a natural system or appearance. Contrary to that, a solution which looks at the principles of a natural design, promises a better outcome. One such example is the here presented case study, which shows the design process of three distinctive grippers. The devices have biomimetic properties on two levels. Firstly, they use a kinematic chain found in beaks and secondly, they have a biomimetic structural geometry, which was realized using additive manufacturing. In a next step, the manufacturing method was evaluated to estimate its efficiency for commercial production. The results show that the fabrication procedure is still in its early stage and thus it is not able to guarantee satisfactory results. To summarize the study, we claim that a novel solution can be derived using principles from nature, however, for the solution to be actualized successfully, there are parameters which are beyond reach for designers. Nonetheless, industrial designers can contribute to product innovation using biomimetics.

Keywords: Innovation, biomimetics, Additive manufacturing, Design Process

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2 Study the Effect of Leading-Edge Serration at Owl Wing Feathers on Flow-Induced Noise Generation

Authors: Suprabha Islam, Sifat Ullah Tanzil


During past few decades, being amazed by the excellent silent flight of owl, scientists have been trying to demystify the unique features of its wing feathers. Our present study is dedicated to taking our understanding further on this phenomenon. In this present study, a numerical investigation was performed to analyze how the shape of the leading-edge serration at owl wing feathers effects the flow-induced noise generation. For the analysis, an owl inspired single feather wing model was prepared for both with and without serrations at the leading edge. The serration profiles were taken at different positions of the vane length for a single feather. The broadband noise was studied to quantify the local contribution to the total acoustic power generated by the flow, where the results clearly showed the effect of serrations in reducing the noise generation. It was also clearly visible that the shape of the serration has a very strong influence on noise generation. The frequency spectrum of noise was also analyzed and a strong relation was found between the shape of the serration and the noise generation. It showed that the noise suppression is strongly influenced by the height to length ratio of the serration. With the increase in height to length ratio, the noise suppression is enhanced further.

Keywords: Aeroacoustics, biomimetics, Aerodynamic, serrations

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1 Surface Morphology and Wetting Behavior of the Aspidiotus spp. Scale Covers

Authors: Meril Kate Mariano, Billy Joel Almarinez Divina Amalin, Jose Isagani Janairo


The scale insects Aspidiotus destructor and Aspidiotus rigidus exhibit notable scale covers made of wax which provides protection against water loss and is capable to resist wetting, thus making them a desirable model for biomimetic designs. Their waxy covers enable them to infest mainly leaves of coconut trees despite the harsh wind and rain. This study aims to describe and compare the micro morphological characters on the surfaces of their scale covers consequently, how these micro structures affect their wetting properties. Scanning electron microscope was used for the surface characterization while an optical contact angle meter was employed in the wetting measurement. The scale cover of A. destructor is composed of multiple overlapping layers of wax that is arranged regularly while that of A. rigidus is composed of a uniform layer of wax with much more prominent wax ribbons irregularly arranged compared to the former. The protrusions found on the two organisms are formed by the wax ribbons that differ in arrangement with their height being A. destructor (3.57+1.29) < A. rigidus (4.23+1.22) and their density A. destructor (15+2.94) < A. rigidus (18.33+2.64). These morphological measurements could affect the contact angle (CA θ) measurement of A. destructor (102.66+9.78°) < A. rigidus (102.77 + 11.01°) wherein the assessment that the interaction of the liquid to the microstructures of the substrate is a large factor in the wetting properties of the insect scales is realized. The calculated surface free energy of A. destructor (38.47 mJ/m²) > A. rigidus (31.02 mJ/m²) shows inverse proportionality with the CA measurement. The dispersive interaction between the surface and liquid is more prevalent compared to the polar interaction for both Aspidiotus species, which was observed using the Fowkes method. The results of this study have possible applications to be a potential biomimetic design for various industries such as textiles and coatings.

Keywords: biomimetics, Contact angle, surface characterization, Aspidiotus spp, wetting behavior

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