tangible media group develops shape shifting film for multiple purposes
all images courtesy of tangible media group






tangible media group, a branch at the MIT media lab, have developed a technology for rapid digital fabrication of customized thin film shape-changing interfaces they call ‘unimorph’. by combining the thermoelectric characteristics of copper with thermally sensitive  polyethylene, the team was able to actuate the shape of the composites directly. the movements are enabled by a temperature driven mechanism which also reduce the fabrication complexity of the thin film interweave.


a preliminary film explaining the prototypes
video courtesy of tangible media group



‘unimorph’ composites can be changed by either environmental temperature changes or active heating of embedded structures. different sensing techniques that leverage the existing copper structures can be seamlessly implanted in the composite. check out the video to see what shapes tangible media group made possible.  tangible-media-group-unimorph-film-shaping-designboom-06 the select layers of the ‘unimorph’ composite tangible-media-group-unimorph-film-shaping-designboom-07the film can be adapted for different purposes