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Biomimetics: strategies for product design inspired by nature – a mission to the Netherlands and Germany
Global Watch Missions DTI Global Watch Missions have enabled small groups of UK experts to visit leading overseas technology organisations to learn vital lessons about innovation and its implementation, of benefit to entire industries and individual organisations. By stimulating debate and informing industrial thinking and action, missions have offered unique opportunities for fast-tracking technology transfer, sharing deployment know-how, explaining new industry infrastructures and policies, and developing relationships and collaborations. Disclaimer This report represents the findings of a mission organised by Thoughtcrew Ltd on behalf of Faraday Packaging Partnership (FPP) with the support of DTI. Views expressed reflect a consensus reached by the members of the mission team and do not necessarily reflect those of the organisations to which the mission members belong, Thoughtcrew Ltd, FPP , Pera or DTI. Comments attributed to organisations visited during this mission were those expressed by personnel interviewed and should not be taken as those of the organisation as a whole. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this report is accurate and up to date, DTI accepts no responsibility whatsoever in relation to this information. DTI shall not be liable for any loss of profits or contracts or any direct, indirect, special or consequential loss or damages whether in contract, tort or otherwise, arising out of or in connection with your use of this information. This disclaimer shall apply to the maximum extent permissible by law.
Cover image: Glass sponge (Euplectella) skeleton, formed by silica spicules that unite into complex geometric structures (Ken M Highfill/Science Photo Library)
Biomimetics: strategies for product design inspired by nature
– a mission to the Netherlands and Germany
REPORT OF A DTI GLOBAL WATCH MISSION JANUARY 2007
Reading.5. Germany 3. Germany 19 3. UK 3.5. 18 F&E Labor Bionik.5.5. UK 3.3 4.3 14 14 4.3 3.2 1.1 Philips. Germany 3.8 Max Planck Institute of 17 Colloids and Interfaces.11 Dr Mirtsch GmbH.5. Teltow. Germany 3. Germany 3.6 Max Planck Institute for 16 Metals Research.1 2.5. Stuttgart.4 1. Potsdam.5 Applications and opportunities in biomimetic packaging encountered during the mission 3.4 4. Berlin. Berlin.5.12 INPRO.2 COSi – Creative Outsourcing Solutions International. Ulm.9 BIOKON/EvoLogics GmbH.2 3.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1.6 Summary 19 3.5 4. Berlin.1 3.4 2. 19 Berlin. Germany 3.4 Institute for Textile 15 Technology and Process Engineering (ITV Denkendorf).3 1. the Netherlands 3. Germany 3. UK 3. Germany 3.5 2.4.6 4. MagdeburgStendal.5 1.7 University of Freiburg. Eindhoven.1 4.5 DaimlerChrysler Research 16 and Technology. Evolutionary Biomaterials Group.4.3 2. 17 Plant Biomechanics Group.5.3 Procter & Gamble/Gillette.2 4.5. the Netherlands 2 13 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 University of Groningen.4. Germany 3.5.7 21 21 21 23 23 24 24 .4 Introduction Objective Biomimetics in packaging Industrial mission delegates and biomimetics 3.1 ColepCCL.1 1.2 2. Laupheim.2 DEAM – University of Delft.6 2 2.5. Germany 3.10 University of Applied 18 Sciences.7 Conclusions 20 4 APPLICATION OF BIOMIMETICS IN OTHER INDUSTRIES Introduction Architecture Automotive Healthcare Dry adhesives Discussion Samples of biomimetics related to industry 21 3. 14 the Netherlands – University of Cambridge.5.6 3 INTRODUCTION Background Mission aims Objectives Coordinating body Mission location Mission participants BACKGROUND TO BIOMIMETICS Introduction Flight Architecture Textiles Typical topics Information retrieval EXAMPLES OF BIOMIMETIC APPLICATIONS: BIOLOGICALLY INSPIRED PACKAGING 4 5 5 5 6 6 6 7 8 8 9 10 11 11 11 13 3.
7 5 Steerable endoscope Adaptive braided bag filter Fin ray Acoustic camera Bionic propeller Plants as concept generators Self-healing structures 25 26 26 27 28 28 29 30 8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 42 8.7 .7 .1 4.7 .3 Functional surfaces 5.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 4.7 .2 Optimisation 5.1 Who does what? 6.6 4.3 What product designers should know 6.1 Devices 5.5 The commercial case 6.2.6 Conclusions 7 INTEGRATING BIOMIMETICS INTO PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Introduction Processes 7 .2 7 .4 Discussion and conclusions 6 BIOMIMETICS AND PRODUCT DESIGN 30 30 31 31 31 33 33 35 6.5 4.3 7 .1.3.2 Role of funding 5.1.1 7 .4 38 38 38 39 40 40 3 .7 .1 Commercial case for biomimetic solutions 5.1 Introduction 6.1 Conclusions 8.1 Top-down process 7 .1.2 4.2.4 What is the appeal to designers? 6.2 A technique.3 4.7 .4 4.3 Incubators and consortia 5. not a style 6.7 .2 Recommendations APPENDICES A B C D E F Suggestions for further reading Host organisations Mission participants List of exhibits Glossary Acknowledgments 42 42 44 44 45 47 56 58 60 COMMERCIAL VALUE OF BIOMIMETICS 5.2 Bottom-up process Tools Conclusions and recommendations 35 35 35 36 36 37 37 38 7 .
Whilst there have been a significant number of research endeavours in centres such as Bath and Reading the UK has struggled to achieve critical mass to get ideas from the lab onto the shelves.bath. design and produce profit. research and commercial acumen at the European level. Germany leads the way in terms of taking an integrated approach that embraces research and commercial application. The intention of the mission team is to start with the packaging and product development opportunity under the umbrella of the FPP The team has already . Globally there are four key centres of research in biomimetics: the UK. However. There is a real opportunity to create a critical mass of thinking.htm 4 BIONIS (Biomimetics Network for Industrial Sustainability): www. In Germany the BIOKON5 network has a much bigger footprint in terms of marketing efforts.extra.ac.com 3 Professor Julian Vincent.net 2 Faraday Packaging Partnership (FPP): www. unlike BIONIS4 in the UK. Over €30 million (~£20 million) has been invested by the German Government in the development of a network of competence.faradaypackaging.biokon. organisation and knowledge transfer. The future This mission was a milestone in the evolution of biomimetics in the UK.thoughtcrew. University of Bath: www. the Netherlands and the USA.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This DTI Global Watch Mission to Germany and the Netherlands during 15-19 January 2007 was coordinated by Thoughtcrew Ltd1 – an associate member of the Faraday Packaging Partnership (FPP).net 4 . The mission team discovered that in the Netherlands the situation was similar to that found in the UK. Germany. Having reached 64 during the mission week it seemed time to formally recognise the potential contribution of biomimetics to industry in the UK. The mission provided the catalyst to create a European initiative to deliver the benefits of biomimetics.uk/mediaexpertise/julianvincent. There were a number of leading research institutes and commercial organisations applying biomimetic concepts to developing product and design ideas.2 The vision for the mission came from Professor Julian Vincent3 of the University of Bath who has been actively involved in the study of biomimetics for the last 15 years. 1 Thoughtcrew Ltd: www. the Netherlands does not have a network to share ideas. However. they do not seem to be significantly further forward in terms of real products on the shelf although there was a better link between fundamental research and the creation of prototypes.rdg. secured enthusiastic support from the organisations met on the mission and intend offering this as a channel of knowledge to UK businesses that wish to use biomimetics to help them think. driven by the UK. these efforts were isolated and.uk/eng/BIONIS 5 BIOKON (Bionik-Kompetenz-Netz – Bionics Competence Network): www.ac.
The technical benchmarks relate to the ability of the technologies to deliver competitive advantage in terms of cost or performance in the targeted applications. The mission therefore concentrated on the ease with which technical and design advances can be made using biology as a paradigm. 1. However. household.1 Background Mission aims Objectives Coordinating body Mission location Mission participants Background should offer additional functionality such as extra shelf life. design and commercial issues relating to the application of biomimetic design principles and concepts: • Increase awareness in the UK FMCG (fastmoving consumer goods) and related industry about the commercial benefits of biomimetics and hence support growth in UK supply chains from product concept through to final product • Promote application of biomimetics to consumer products and their packaging. Influencing the design of the packaging for this type of product is also important as it frequently acts as a key marketing tool at the point of sale.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 1 INTRODUCTION 1. Biomimetics is ‘sold’ on the promise of innovations with a shorter development time.3 1. Good design is fundamental to the success of consumer products in today’s marketplace. Sustainability is also becoming a key driver both through legislative requirements and consumer demand.4 1.6 1. Significant competitive advantage can be gained from focusing on introducing strategies for innovation in the new product development process. packaging has many functions which must be considered during the design process: • Containing the product to allow transport to point of sale • Protecting products from external contamination to ensure freshness and prevent unwanted tampering • Informing the consumer regarding the contents and their impacts • Marketing the product at point of sale The changing landscape of consumer expectations means that packaging must be easy to open.1 1.2 1. personal care and pharmaceuticals The benchmarks gathered during the mission are both technical and commercial. The commercial benchmarks look at the process by which 6 The term ‘bionics’ is used in Germany – this is synonymous with the UK term ‘biomimetics’ 5 .5 1. in particular in relation to food. attractive and often This mission aimed to explore a range of technological. The novelty is due to the different ways in which biology implements various physical and chemical principles and the different routes it uses to solve the problems we also see in our technology. convenient.2 Mission aims The mission studied the development and application of biomimetics6 by industry and commerce in Germany and the Netherlands and explored the development and value of generic design rules and procedures which can be drawn from nature.
BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE
companies have developed the technology from concept to commercial production. The role of academic research, government funding and private-sector partnerships and finance are included. 1.3 Objectives
The objectives of the mission were to: • Gain awareness of the state of development in biomimetics research in leading European countries – eg who is driving this research, how effectively is it translated into commercial benefits? • Identify mechanisms of networking or information access to improve industry awareness, and links between academia and industry/end users • Mine key successful case studies – such as the DaimlerChrysler ‘bionic car’ – and assess the level of commercial benefits derived from applying biomimetic principles, and identify the mechanisms and routes by which benefits have occurred • Gauge the general level of awareness among national industry • Assess the importance placed on biomimetics and the extent to which other countries have raised awareness of it among industrial designers • Benchmark the UK biomimetics activity with other countries • Explore the ways in which the countries are stimulating the development of new products that utilise biomimetic concepts and understand the roles of public sector (national and regional) and private-sector investors • Explore and brainstorm the ways in which biomimetics can add value to the supply chain for FMCG and other highvolume products 1.4 Coordinating body
formed in 1997 as one of the original Faraday Partnerships funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and DTI. Since then it has established a strong fee-paying membership base made up primarily of international brand owners in the consumer products arena and packaging producers, along with world-leading specialist suppliers. Confident of its immediate future, FPP has recently embarked on an expansion programme as a specialist application node to the newly formed Materials Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) managed on behalf of DTI by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). The wide-ranging membership base provided FPP with a unique platform from which to draw members of the mission and more importantly to ensure dissemination and uptake of the outcome. In particular the full portfolio of dissemination mechanisms established by FPP will be used to generate interest and engagement and provide core participation for the dissemination event. The research leading to the mission, and dayto-day coordination, was through an SME associate of FPP – Thoughtcrew Ltd – subcontracted to provide resources for project management and planning. Specifically, Phil Richardson – Managing Director of Thoughtcrew Ltd – was mission leader. He has a background in life sciences, is a chartered biologist, and holds an MBA from the Open University (where he also lectures on strategy and business operations). He is an experienced project manager with a track record of working at board level, whilst currently researching a PhD in biomimetics. 1.5 Mission location
Faraday Packaging Partnership (FPP) was the coordinating body for the mission. FPP was 6
The central focus on Germany is due to its world-leading position in biomimetics at both academic and industrial level, with several high-profile operations being formed or acquired by companies.
BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE
Germany is probably the world leader in practical biomimetics, partly because the scientific base has always been strong, due mainly to the activity of a few academics. German industry is also very open to new technologies, and the relationship between the universities, Max Planck Institutes and Fraunhofer Institutes is particularly significant in ensuring effective transfer of technology. BIOKON (Bionik-Kompetenz-Netz – Bionics Competence Network) has been very effective in supporting the research and creating a clear route for technology translation to industry. Many of the world’s leading biomimetic operations are based in Germany, including the ‘bionic car’ from DaimlerChrysler. In the Netherlands the European Space Agency (ESA) is actively applying ideas from nature in a wide range of areas of biomimetics reported in an extensive web site with applications in space exploration. It has a rudimentary database and a collection of interesting and relevant reports, all fully referenced.
The mission participants came from a broad span of industry, including FMCG manufacturers, designers, packaging, materials and consulting: Dr Cathy Barnes Faraday Packaging Partnership Geoff Hollington Hollington Associates Dr Matthias Gester Procter & Gamble Professor Julian Vincent University of Bath Patrick Poitevin COSi Ltd Dr Martin Kemp DTI Global Watch Service Johannes Schampel ColepCCL Brian Knott Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining Phil Richardson Thoughtcrew Ltd
Exhibit 1.1 Mission team at the Radisson Hotel, Berlin; L Matthias Gester, Geoff Hollington, Martin Kemp, -R: Julian Vincent, Cathy Barnes, Patrick Poitevin (front), Johannes Schampel (behind), Brian Knott, Phil Richardson
BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE
BACKGROUND TO BIOMIMETICS Julian Vincent
2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6
Introduction Flight Architecture Textiles Typical topics Information retrieval
destined to be outside. The globe fuses with the cell membrane and the topological prediction is fulfilled. The spare membrane which inevitably accumulates on the cell surface is tucked away and recycled in a sort of cellular face-lift. Biomimetics7 – which we here mean to be synonymous with ‘biomimesis’, ‘biomimicry’, ‘bionics’, ‘biognosis’, ‘biologically inspired design’ and similar words and phrases implying copying or adaptation or derivation from biology – is a relatively young study embracing the practical use of mechanisms and functions of biological science in engineering, design, chemistry, electronics and so on. The word was first coined by Otto Schmitt, a polymath, whose doctoral research was an attempt to produce a physical device that mimicked the electrical action of a nerve. By 1957 he had come to perceive what he would later label biomimetics as a disregarded – but highly significant – converse of the standard view of biophysics. He said: ‘Biophysics is not so much a subject matter as it is a point of view. It is an approach to problems of biological science utilising the theory and technology of the physical sciences. Conversely, biophysics is also a biologist’s approach to problems of physical science and engineering, although this aspect has largely been neglected.’ The related word bionics was coined by Jack Steele of the US Air Force in 1960 at a meeting at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. He defined it as ‘the science of systems which have some function copied from nature, or which represent characteristics of natural systems or their analogues.’
Can innovation be managed? The history of advancement shows that we depend on the vision and efforts of people going beyond what is considered rational or possible and seeing what happens. This is an orderly way of doing things in that it gives a framework. Think the unthinkable, then rationalise it and bring it into the common ambit. This is also what happens with biomimetics. The underlying assumption is that nature performs a function with the least amount of energy, uses the commonest materials, and is the most reliable (though it may rely heavily on feedback control). Speed is rarely important, mostly because it would take too much energy or would involve dangerous chemistry. Some critical processes (escape responses, decision making) can happen very quickly. However, growth can take its time – the emphasis being on having viable offspring before we die. By doing everything in water and using diffusion gradients, nature produces a production line with few moving parts and, by virtue of the cell membrane, a highly controlled chemical environment. The problems of getting synthesised material across the membrane are solved by a packaging system whereby products are labelled then wrapped in a globe of membrane which establishes its interior as
7 Julian F V Vincent et al, Biomimetics: its practice and theory, J R Soc Interface (2006) 3:471-482; www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/media/mgat4etrtl2tpnk2up67/ contributions/k/0/4/8/k048171720104k70.pdf
By 1906. The aircraft that evolved was the Taube (dove). and on 29 November 1909 flew his first sustained powered flight. Wings could be flexed up and down by foot pedal. Several of the early experimenters with tailless aircraft. a class of aircraft that was produced in a bewildering number of versions for both civil and military use. so once again he turned to nature for the solution. one of these was the seed of the liana Alsomitra macrocarpa. 9 Leonardo da Vinci studied birds flying and designed some machines. adapted these principles to the design of powered. To the Alsomitra wing he added the tail of a bird. which could glide great distances with inherent stability. 2. wing area and camber could also be changed by crank action. accompanied by the following definition: ‘The study of the formation. people have looked to nature for inspiration for more than 3. or rather. . to the extent that they folded and were supported and shaped in exactly the same way. Ader completed another aircraft. including Igo Etrich. manned aircraft. Schmitt said: ‘Let us consider what bionics has come to mean operationally and what it or some word like it (I prefer biomimetics) ought to mean in order to make good use of the technical skills of scientists specialising. However. Presumably our common interest is in examining biological phenomenology in the hope of gaining insight and inspiration for developing physical or composite biophysical systems in the image of life. but never made any. thus changing the position of the centre of pressure and consequently the pitch of the airplane. and the difficulty the pilot had in varying these controls in flight.’ However. canvas and wire. sustained flight in heavierthan-air machines. In 1904 Etrich built a graceful tailless glider in the shape of the Alsomitra seed made of bamboo. Each wing could be swung forward and aft separately by a hand-operated crank. since the Chinese first tried to make an artificial silk. in 137 different configurations. but had two engines and simplified wings. the Avion III. the Eole. Between 1910 and 1914. practice glides with sandbags for passengers had been successfully conducted. and possessed such inherent stability that it could fly itself. despecialising into this area of research. In 1907 Etrich installed a 40 hp engine into a second design. Flying seeds inspired serious investigations into the theory of flight. The Taube was easily recognised by the distinctive Alsomitrashaped wings and dove-like tail. in 1897 It was generally similar in concept and .BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE At another meeting at Dayton in 1963. I should say. Clement Ader designed and made a flying wing aircraft designed by copying bats’ wings.2 Flight with so many degrees of freedom in the design. stability was compromised. The first aircraft. structure or function of biologically produced substances and materials (as enzymes or silk) and biological mechanisms and processes (as protein synthesis or photosynthesis) especially for the purpose of synthesising similar products by artificial mechanisms which mimic natural ones.’ The word made its first public appearance in Webster’s Dictionary in 1974. On 9 October 1890 Ader flew about 50 m but the flight was not considered to have been controlled or sustained.000 years. had a single steam engine with a four-bladed bamboo propeller made in the form of bird feathers. and the glider made what was perhaps the first successful flight of an inherently stable. 54 manufacturers produced over 500 of these aircraft. It then became obvious that simply adding a power plant to the wing was not the way to advance. appearance to Eole. Two tests of the Avion III were conducted on a circular track but it did not fly although Ader claimed to have flown a distance of 300 m.
The original impetus for the corrugated roof occurred about 20 years earlier. In the construction of the tower. Jungendstil and the like) this is obviously acceptable. such that he established the lines of force in his buildings then arranged the supporting stone around them. Thus even in 10 . Not all his ideas were as successful. totally missing the point that the shape of a soap bubble is necessitated by the inability of the liquid soap film to resist shear. which he justified to me by the like practice of those two prudent insects the bee and the spider. like an organism. by beginning at the roof. when Paxton copied an idea to ensure that sunlight could go through the glass unimpeded during the morning and evening. as a source of inspiration for tent-like tension structures. ‘There was a most ingenious architect who had contrived a new method for building houses. therefore the skin of an object shaped like a soap bubble will also be shear-free and thus lighter and more efficient. In Swift’s satire of the Royal Society in ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.’ It is uncertain whether Joseph Paxton got his ideas for the Crystal Palace from the leaves of a giant water lily: he used a leaf as an illustration during a talk at the Royal Society of the Arts in London. There are stories that Eiffel’s tower was based on the structure of trabecular struts in the head of the human femur. more resembles other types of leaf such as beech or hornbeam). could sense the external environment and alter its outer covering in such a way as to keep the internal environment ideal. exemplified by the Munich Olympic Stadium. Instead of relying on geometric shapes. The hyperboloids and paraboloids he borrowed from nature were easily reinforced by steel rods and allowed his designs to resemble elements from the environment. thus producing authentic treelike structures. He leaves a legacy of examining nature. Richard Rogers in his Reith Lectures on the built environment leant heavily on nature as a source of inspiration and on the possibilities of an ‘intelligent’ building which. For many years Frei Otto worked on lightweight structures in the University of Stuttgart. and the myth may have grown out of overenthusiastic reportage. Antonio Gaudí was fascinated by nature from childhood. perhaps giving a little protection at the hottest part of the day. He studied nature’s angles and curves and incorporated them into his designs.3 Architecture the strongest winds the top of the tower moves no more than 12 cm. the curve of the base pylons was calculated so that the wind loads were resisted related to their force and the moment exerted with height. with its corrugations. This was enhanced by his experimental approach to design. Unfortunately biology is also used ineptly as a structural rationale. As decoration (Art Nouveau. Architects commonly use biology as a library of shapes. where he claimed that all biology is the product of inflatable structures. and working downwards to the foundation. for example his notorious ‘pneu’ studies. showing how to support a roof-like structure. but with a longer light path at midday. but the client still has to be able to afford it. he mimicked the way trees grow and stand upright. Certainly there is little similarity between the design of the water lily leaf (which uses support of radial tapering beams) and the design of the roof of the Crystal Palace (which. a topic in which Eiffel was an early expert. In fact it was constructed to resist wind loading.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 2. especially spiders’ webs. or the taper of a tulip stem. The roof of Stuttgart Airport is supported by his tree-like structures.
4 Textiles In the early 1940s George de Mestral. After considerable experimentation.biomimicryguild. This approach is being taken by the Biomimicry Guild8 in the USA. Upon his return home he noticed that the dog’s coat and his trousers were covered in cockleburs. 2. It offers hundreds of different hookand-loop products and fastening systems. went for a walk in the forest with his dog. and does not allow for the complexity of biological systems.. • • • • • • • • Behaviour Bumpy surfaces Camouflage Chemistry Chemosense Composite materials Computing Creative design 8 www. it should cover the whole of biology.. The result was Velcro. but the general thrust must be towards de-skilling the area so that the information is more readily available to all.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 2. It makes fastening tapes of woven and knitted construction and custom-designed speciality fasteners made of various materials in different shapes and sizes. the other has loops like the fabric of his trousers. named for the French words ‘velour’ (velvet) and ‘crochet’ (hook). efficiency etc. ecology. Currently Velcro Industries is (as its advertising literature assures us) a technically driven global organisation and the industry leader. behaviour. molecular biology. One side has stiff hooks like the burs. The challenge was then to make machinery that could produce textured fabrics that would work reliably. This requires a biologist with a broad base in natural history. The most obvious way is to ask a biologist to identify the animals and plants in which a certain function is available.6 Biomimetics is nothing unless engineers and designers can retrieve information from biology which will lead to improved design. A second approach is to develop a hypertext database of research papers. This list is by no means exhaustive. later developed into a two-sided fastener. where he discovered the hooked ends of the bristles that stick out from the seeds. There are several ways in which this can be achieved. This still requires interpretation and understanding of biological information.5 Typical topics • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Deployable structures Drag reduction Growth Hairy and feathery surfaces Haptics Joining and adhesion Lubrication Material properties Mechanical mechanisms Navigation and control Pumps Responsive materials and structures Self-repair Self-replication Social interactions Surface protection/hardness Sustainability Swimming Vision Walking/running Information retrieval 2. It may be important to strip away The mission was shown developments in some of the subject areas listed below. de Mestral developed special looms and hook-cutting machinery. This became the basis for a zip. a Swiss inventor. His inventor’s curiosity led him to study the burs under the microscope.com 11 . such people are rare. strength.
Advantages are that such a system incorporates creative definitions and solutions and so is pre-adapted for dynamic transfer of concepts and functions between disciplines. lexical search of a biological database has proved useful. 12 . Still with the concept of discovering biological analogues. Web search engines can also be incorporated. It is the most amenable to computation and can incorporate web search engines. where an organism defends itself against pathogens by cleansing or isolation. For instance the function ‘clean’ in an engineering context was rated as similar to ‘defend’ in a biological context. This is not a trivial process. Both these methods are subjective and require knowledge and skill in biology. This is a powerful method since there are many large and complete biological texts available which can be used as source material. The main difficulty is translating between the words used for a concept in biology and in engineering. This system probably requires the least skill and knowledge in biology but the most effort in setting it up.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE the biological processes from the main function which is required from the biological paradigm. Another approach is to adapt an existing method from engineering and introduce a biological component. The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving – known by its Russian acronym TRIZ – seems particularly suitable but requires the production of a large database from biology.
7 3. a finish and a decoration or print. a shape.4. materials. including Velcro and lotus leaf. but quite often is part of the product or is the product itself.1 • Does not apply biomimetics yet but is looking for opportunities. The examples in this chapter are drawn from the case studies encountered during the mission.4 3. 3. It is the first item the consumer sees. We can learn enormously from nature. 13 . on newness.1. Why reinvent the wheel when nature has it all? People are used to natural • Applies biomimetics in fingerprint-free coatings on highly shiny metallised and anodised personal care components. 3. Germany 3.1 3. Nature’s solutions have stood the test of time. It is a vehicle to transport and protect the product.2 COSi – Creative Outsourcing Solutions International.3 Biomimetics in packaging Biomimetics in packaging covers many different areas: • • • • • • • • • Energy Functions Environment Light weight Materials Process Structure Surfaces Transport Packaging should be taken in the widest sense possible. Numerous examples could be listed. feels.1 Introduction Objective Biomimetics in packaging Industrial mission delegates and biomimetics Applications and opportunities in biomimetic packaging encountered during the mission Summary Conclusions Introduction structures. tongs and tweezers.3 3. the driver to attract consumers. Nature’s designs.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 3 EXAMPLES OF BIOMIMETIC APPLICATIONS: BIOLOGICALLY INSPIRED PACKAGING Patrick Poitevin 3. touches and (maybe) tastes. Laupheim. The additives in the coatings are based on the lotus leaf repellent effect. smells.5 3. on innovation – constantly enquiring ‘How can we stand out?’ – looking into other industries and learning from crossindustry technologies.4 Industrial mission delegates and biomimetics ColepCCL.2 Objective The mission came across all these different areas – not only in packaging but also in other applications mentioned in this report.4.2 3. Nature is one of those other ‘industries’. a structure. 3. processes and structures have always inspired packaging. See Exhibit 3. Packaging has a design. 3. a concept.6 3. UK Packaging is alongside the product. It is important that the packaging industry is up to date on changes.
2 DEAM – University of Delft.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Opportunities • Manipulate spray patterns and transport liquids with unlimited viscosities such as personal care formulations. • Use microfluidic system for mixing dual chamber dosage and mix active ingredients in stimulus with designated purpose.5. the Netherlands Opportunities • Rolling doughnut moves itself in and out through a colon. UK Applications • Endoscope in micro scale and rolling doughnuts.3. Can be used for packaging inspection.2. Concept already applied at COSi for fingerprint-free coating on highly shiny metallised and anodised components.1 Applications • Microfluidics which can manipulate the spray on a small scale – transporting. See Exhibit 3.5. sorting and collecting. mixing. Exhibit 3.3 University of Groningen.4.3 Dynamic wetting of porous Teflon surfaces based on lotus leaf (courtesy University of Cambridge) 14 . 3.5. for example temperature.5 Applications and opportunities in biomimetic packaging encountered during the mission Philips. UK 3. Eindhoven. See Exhibit 3. • Microfluidic mixer based on stimulus. 3. Can be used for ink-jet application and cooling electronics. Applications • Dynamic wetting of porous Teflon surfaces based on lotus leaf. humidity. Exhibit 3. • Does not apply biomimetics yet but is looking for opportunities.1 Fingerprint-free coatings on highly shiny metallised and anodised personal care components (courtesy COSi) 3.3 Procter & Gamble/Gillette. Reading. the Netherlands 3.2 Ink-jet printing for displays and biomedical applications (courtesy Philips) Exhibit 3. the Netherlands – University of Cambridge.
Dark skin absorbs IR but blocks harmful UV radiations. • Release of air bubbles to create speed and reduction of frictional drift. Germany Exhibit 3.5. • Plant stem construction for light weight but high stiffness for rods and parts which needs strength and rigidity. See Exhibit 3. used in packaging or gift industry. See Exhibit 3. See Exhibit 3.6 Composite profiles modelled on plant stems (courtesy ITV) Applications • Applies lotus effect on and in textiles. • Coating can be used inside bottles for easy pouring of sticky product.7 .5. Water sports gifts and toys or packaging which should be kept dry. See Exhibit 3. tubes and bicycle frames. 15 .BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Opportunities • Use of coating to keep packaging dry. Textile repels water or stays dry in water and is self-cleaning. • Use in hydrophobic chemistry for waterresistant products such as waterproof mascara.4 Institute for Textile Technology and Process Engineering (ITV Denkendorf). can be applied for selfheating or thermostatic packaging.6.5 Coating containing electrostatic particles (courtesy ITV) • Coating containing electrostatic particles. can be kept dry and clean. Used for boats. • Reinforced fibres. 3. Opportunities • Handbags and other textile parts. Used in ski poles. Creates light weight and enhanced stiffness. • Heat insulation. Exhibit 3. • Plant stems as role models for composite profiles.4. Exhibit 3.4 Lotus effect on textiles (courtesy ITV) • Transparent light transfer inspired by polar bear hair as supposed light guides. cables.7 Transparent light transfer inspired by polar bear hair (courtesy ITV/P Poitevin) Exhibit 3.
11 Head-arresting system in dragonflies (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research. Germany) 3. Stuttgart) Exhibit 3. Stuttgart) Applications • Dry adhesives such as gecko.8 Aerodynamics application by DaimlerChrysler (courtesy BIOKON. Stuttgart) Opportunities • Lightweight construction in metal gift packaging with hollow structures.8. Mechanical coupling. Exhibit 3.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Exhibit 3. Ulm. 16 . • Notch stresses with hollow structures. See Exhibit 3. beetle.6 Max Planck Institute for Metals Research.10 Dry adhesive applications (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research. Stuttgart. Opportunities • Apply products in dry condition to skis for easy release. Germany Exhibit 3. See Exhibits 3. Evolutionary Biomaterials Group.5.5 DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology. • Soft-touch applications and surfaces.9 Dry adhesive (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research.11.9 and 3. See Exhibit 3.10.5. • Tree fork construction to maximise strength. 3. suction cups. Germany Applications • Aerodynamics. robot like. • Head-arresting system in dragonflies tells contact or no contact.
• Lamellar structure based on collagen fibrils. Germany Applications • Models from trees.12 Models from trees. See Exhibit 3. See Exhibit 3.14. • Self-repair vine and coat membrane with foam.5. See Exhibit 3.5. Berlin) • Cell wall constructions for wood. cars.13 Glass fibre construction (courtesy Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Exhibit 3. Potsdam. roofs and bridges. cars. bamboos and vines used for construction in aircraft.8 Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. Germany Exhibit 3. bamboos and vines used for construction in aircraft. Tough material and light. • Self-assembly hierarchical order in water. • Self-repair packaging in future? 3.12.14 Cell wall constructions for wood (courtesy Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. roofs and bridges (courtesy University of Freiburg) Exhibit 3. • Glass fibre construction.7 University of Freiburg. Active biomimetic systems. Berlin) 3. stiff and tough. Plant Biomechanics Group. 17 Applications • Synthetic motors or active transport. Opportunities • Use models and constructions in packaging and make light but solid. • Microcapsules with nano-scale wall thickness with controlled mechanical properties. • Self-repairing coatings where inhibitor releases on command. . Berlin.13.
3. • Self-repair coatings for scratch and scuff defects. • Use of glass fibres in packaging.15 Acoustic camera (courtesy Gesellschaft zur Förderung angewandter Informatik – GFaI. Exhibit 3. • Bionic propellers. F&E Labor Bionik. noise and acoustic properties.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Opportunities • Focused transport of polymers for activations and functional packaging. such as lubricating.15. where tolerances are too large for proper jig printing. Applications • Modular walking robots. • Fin ray effect used for ergonomic chairs can be used in the packaging printing industry. sharks.17 Fin ray effect used for ergonomic chair (courtesy BIOKON. See Exhibits 3. Germany Opportunities • Analyses of packaging with acoustic cameras to improve handling. friction coefficients. Berlin) Exhibit 3. dismantling robots.5. dolphins. lotus leaves. See Exhibit 3.16.10 University of Applied Sciences. lotus leaves.16 Surface applications inspired by penguins. See Exhibit 3. 18 . Germany Exhibit 3.18. such as glass. dolphins.5. See Exhibit 3. Germany/P Poitevin) • Surface applications inspired by penguins. Germany) Applications • Acoustic camera.9 BIOKON/EvoLogics GmbH. 3. geckos and sandfish.19. geckos and sandfish (courtesy BIOKON. Magdeburg-Stendal. Berlin. sharks.17 and 3. swivel and torque in packaging. sonar techniques.
Material can be reduced 24% in weight by hexagonal or honeycomb shaped buckling. Germany • Use in materials science and surface investigations.5.20. 3. Magdeburg-Stendal) Opportunities Opportunities • Robots can be used for rather difficult-toaccess areas for research and applying packaging decoration. Think outside the shell! 19 .11 Dr Mirtsch GmbH. 3.12 INPRO. Opportunity to find solutions for printing or decoration. Invisible solutions may contribute to visible innovations.19 Modular walking robots (courtesy University of Applied Sciences. See Exhibit 3. where tolerances are too large for proper jig printing (courtesy BIOKON. laser welding.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Exhibit 3.20 Reduction of materials conception (courtesy Dr Mirtsch/P Poitevin) Opportunities • Use in lightweight bottles. Berlin. institute or company met during this mission had an application or at least an opportunity in packaging or packaging-related topics. Germany/P Poitevin) Exhibit 3. jars. No-one wants to repeat or copy what someone else has done.18 Fin ray effect can also be used in the packaging printing industry. such as glass. 3.6 Summary Applications • Reduction of materials conception. Exhibit 3. Biologically inspired products or mimicking nature? No problem in doing so. Germany Applications • Detection and inspection instruments for surfaces and defects in materials and surfaces such as plasma treatment. Teltow. Each university.5. Berlin. aerosols and cans in general.
fast. creative and sustainable. Industries will soon be converted to the new (biomimetic) religion. Institutes and universities have to know the needs.and long-term opportunities and is definitely the solution to sustainability and innovation in packaging. Industrialists have to know what opportunities there are. Nature does! Currently. it needs the proper infrastructure and base to help industry move in that direction. Innovation requires inspiration and relies on creativity.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE The biomimetic developments encountered on the mission are only a fraction of what is happening in the world. it certainly covers mid. There is a goldmine in biomimetics related to packaging.7 Conclusions Biomimetics is a key driver. Although biomimetics does not have all shortterm solutions. Nature has so many opportunities. institutes and universities communicate to the industry: ‘Tell us what the needs are’. The challenge is to move forward. Collaboration with those universities and institutes working on biomimetics is crucial. a central UK-based full-time biomimetic support with regular newsletters. It took the lotus concept over 20 years and Velcro eight years. being innovative. UK industry has BIONIS in Reading/Bath and other biomimetic packaging liaisons abroad though needs a good database. conferences and meetings and information on applications. Biomimetics supplies and covers both. Collaboration is key. Sustainability and innovation are the current topics in packaging. opportunities and worldwide latest news. what you are working on’. We need two-way communication. the industry is communicating to those bodies: ‘Tell us what your research is. If the UK wants to be on top of biomimetics. 20 . Meanwhile. 3. Quite often.
com) 4.2 4.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 4 APPLICATION OF BIOMIMETICS IN OTHER INDUSTRIES Brian Knott and Johannes Schampel 4. However. which in turn combine to form the trunk of a tree. See Exhibit 4. 4.7 Introduction Architecture Automotive Healthcare Dry adhesives Discussion Samples of biomimetics related to industry Introduction impression is of a wood of metal trees. ‘other industries’ are interpreted as those where the application is either more generalised than a specific product.1 Metal trees supporting the roof of Stuttgart Airport (courtesy www. with the roof of Stuttgart Airport. which in turn are affixed to metal branches. is affixed to small metallic twigs.3 4. branch and twig plays a synergistic role in supporting the weight of the roof. in its widest interpretation could encompass most if not all of the applications seen and described during this mission.1. with all the consequential benefits that this would have on fuel efficiency. for the purposes of this report.3 Automotive Although the subject was not covered in any of the presentations given at the various establishments. often at right angles. This essentially flat roof has the appearance of being supported by metal trees. so the term product design.1 In the same way that the term biomimetics can be used to encompass a range of biological/engineering related concepts including bionics and bio-inspired. As the eye moves down to the ground so the branches combine to form boughs. The front shell of a vehicle comprises many members which are joined together. or the application forms part of the overall product. no notch stresses are to be 21 .2 Architecture Exhibit 4. In contrast. where each trunk. one highly visible and immediately apparent area of the application of biomimetics was architecture.1 4. which could be considered as a giant leaf. in that each discrete area. 4.4 4.stuttgart-airport.5 4. The design of part of the body shell of a car forms an example of the latter. The final A striking example of significant benefits which could be realised by applying the principles of biomimetics was the statement by Dr Götz of DaimlerChrysler that an 80% reduction in the weight of the shell of a car could be achieved if it could be designed in the same way as the structure of bone. with their associated generation of potential failure-inducing notch stresses when under load. bough.6 4.
2 Optimum structure for a centrally loaded beam after 10 iterations (courtesy Prof Claus Mattheck) Application of this principle of biomimetic design to the front element of a Mercedes C class vehicle produced a structure that eliminated areas of excessive stress concentration associated with generation of notches at joints between structural members. The search does. This tropical fish – despite its boxy. eliminates notch stresses and results in a fully uniform stress loading. resulting in a highly fuel-efficient vehicle. it was surprising to hear Konrad Götz comment that at present no further biomimetic-based projects were under way within DaimlerChrysler. only 40% of the biomimetic ideas originally considered for inclusion in the original design of the vehicle could be employed. however. Exhibit 4. For example. the removal of material from regions where it served no function permitted improved local access to enable a greater number of spot welds to be used to join the various component members of the front element. Nevertheless the principle of this approach was adopted by DaimlerChrysler and although it did not result in a weight saving. The exterior form of the car is substantially based on the boxfish. An example of the optimum structure for a centrally loaded beam after only ten iterations of the program is given in Exhibit 4. can grow or shrink depending on their load-bearing requirements. resulting in the promotion of the subject of biomimetics within the German Government with increased funding. SKO techniques were also employed in the construction of the shell. leaving only those areas which provide load-bearing capability to the structure. combined with slower growth at regions of low stress. The faster growth of wood at regions where the structure is highly stressed. again developed by DaimlerChrysler. took the concept of using solutions from nature and applying these to car design. Although the concept car demonstrated successful collaboration between academia and industry. during a number of iterations. Unfortunately the structure required can not be manufactured on a mass production basis.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE found within the inner surfaces where a single trunk of a tree divides into two.2. 22 .3). cube-shaped body – is somewhat surprisingly extremely streamlined with a very low coefficient of drag. This has been modelled in a soft kill option (SKO) computer program developed by Professor Claus Mattheck where. a feature reproduced in the concept car (Exhibit 4. however. Bone structures. with the aim of improving the tribofilm characteristics of this unit. The bionic car. material is eliminated in low-stress regions. the selfcleaning features associated with the lotus effect had to be discarded as the surface produced does not have the desired high gloss. continue for an animal that has the same boundary constraints associated with engine power transmission.3 Bionic car concept by DaimlerChrysler Exhibit 4. In the end.
In the free condition. Philips. the individual ‘cilia’ were robust. after initial consideration of a number of options including capillary pumping.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 4.4 (a). At MPI Stuttgart considerable effort is being directed towards the understanding of surfacerelated effects in biology. Philips’ approach was to create cilium-like plates comprising a polymer layer with a conductive backing material bonded to the base of the device – normally silica. The technique has been successfully employed to both transport liquid and also to give mixing of two liquid streams. The advantages of this approach included realisation of large amounts of movement of individual ‘cilia’. The concept is at a very early stage of (a) (b) Exhibit 4.4 Healthcare In healthcare the idea of using a lab-on-a-chip device to test human blood. in sessile organisms exemplified by filter-feeding molluscs the cilia play an important role in feeding. working in unison to produce a wave-like movement.5) which in turn could be locally addressed using patterned electrodes to induce movement of a fluid.5 Dry adhesives The remit of the Max Planck Institutes (MPIs) in Germany is the study of basic science. 4. and multiple ‘cilia’ could be incorporated in a microchannel (as shown in Exhibit 4. but on application of an electrostatic charge the ‘cilium’ lays flat – Exhibit 4. A particular challenge with the development of such a device is the need to guide amounts of an already small sample of blood (typically 1 µL) to various reaction chambers on the chip. A number of the key structural features of the feet of the two species have been identified and reproduced on the surfaces of a number of differing materials. 23 .4 Cilium-like plate created by Philips Exhibit 4. is one that is drawing ever increasing attention. surface tension and electro-osmosis. looking at the ability of flies and geckos to attach to glass walls and ceilings. was inspired by nature and selected the biomimetic route of utilising cilia (which look like very small hairs) to move the blood in a controlled manner. whilst in microorganisms they are often the mechanism of propulsion. for example. that sweep mucus from the lining of the lungs.5 Multiple ‘cilia’ incorporated in a microchannel by Philips development but has considerable potential both for ‘lab-on-a-chip’ devices and also in the development and screening of drugs. In humans it is the cilia.4 (b). the single ‘cilium’ adopts the form shown in Exhibit 4.
nature uses only two basic polymers to equip all polymer-based structures. the biomimetic solution has originated either from engineers’ discussions with biologists. offered by biologists. highlight the potential for adoption of biomimetic solutions to problems that nature has already invested millions of years of effort to solve – why reinvent the wheel when it may not be the best answer to movement? The challenge would appear to be joining the specific requirements of industry with the myriad of solutions awaiting an application. and a prime requirement for identifying the optimum solution to an engineering challenge would appear to lie in the development and adoption of a structured method of contact between the two communities. 4.7 Samples of biomimetics related to industry Exhibit 4. we can find a multiple choice of diversified structures. however.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE In the insect kingdom there are two principal mechanisms of attachment.6 Dry adhesives Depending on the scale of scope we use to look at nature. It does. According to Julian Vincent. For example. Nature seems to have the ‘master plan’ to develop a broad range of structures. This ‘dry-adhesive’ material is tolerant to contamination and can be cleaned by washing without much degradation of its adhesive properties. Professor of Biomimetics at the University of Bath. the essential features and associated characteristics of which are illustrated in Exhibit 4. A similar structure. either smooth or hairy pads. 4. has been reproduced on sheet material in square metre sizes to give a material which is adhesive solely as a consequence of its surface topography with no related chemical bonding. The initial work on the problem-identifying TRIZ database and on compilation of a database of biological materials and components could be considered to be the first steps in this process. For many of the above. with both systems having the ability to adapt and adhere to smooth and structured substrata. Chance would appear to have played a significant role in the process. grippers for manipulation of silicon wafers and solar batteries. all with totally different properties. or biologists offering nature’s solutions to engineers.6.6 Discussion This has been only a selection of the cases where biomimetics has found application in areas other than packaging. mechanisms and also prevention of polymer squeaking by promoting smooth sliding rather than stick-slip. MPI Stuttgart is in active collaboration with a number of industrial partners developing the concept for applications such as adhesive tapes. built on the same material base. paper feeding 24 . the basal hairs of the pads of a hoverfly (Eristalis pertinax) are in turn covered in a very fine close-packed structure of high aspect ratio columns with a lip structure that makes contact with the surface.
the endoscope follows the same principle as the tentacles and consists only of standard parts such as coil springs. Compared to the current systems. Technical developments during the last 20 years have resulted in a decreasing average diameter of endoscopes down to 12 mm – 5 mm and a strong improvement in image quality. enabling the surgeon to observe organs from the side and to look behind anatomic structures.8 Endo-Periscope developed by University of Delft in cooperation with Tokyo Institute of Technology Currently being commercialised. The big difference between the conservative constructed endoscopes and the new developed bionic endoscope is that conservative systems do have a limited space of observation: the incision acts like a fulcrum. The steerable tip is controlled via a spatial parallelogram mechanism.7 . it seems nature knows how to change material properties by changing the inner structure and therefore constructs objects very efficiently on a sustainable base. the new endoscope. The cross section contains a ring of longitudinal muscle bundles (LMB) which are enclosed by transverse and circular muscle fibres (TMF and CMF) Exhibit 4. making To increase manoeuvrability of the endoscopic camera. University of Delft The function of this new endoscope was inspired by the tentacles of a squid (Exhibit 4. Exhibit 4. Department of Biomechanical Engineering. it is necessary to have a more flexible endoscope which is not limited by those restrictions. Esther M Blom and Johanna E I Verheij. giving only four degrees of freedom (DOFs). instruments and catheters. rings and tubes. which are very expensive.8). the new bionic endoscope works very efficiently and can easily be miniaturised to a very small diameter. Therefore it is impossible to take a look behind objects by getting around them. cables. the Endo-Periscope (Exhibit 4.7). Jules S Scheltes. the camera follows the handgrip movements exactly and the handgrip is always parallel to the camera’s line of sight.7 Schematic cross section of the tentacle of the loliginid squid. 4. In order to find dangerous metastases and cavities. has been developed at Delft University of Technology in close cooperation with the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The Endo-Periscope has a rigid shaft and a 2-DOF steerable tip with a miniature camera. The tentacle is surrounded by longitudinal and helical muscle layers (LML and HML).BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Depending on the functions and systems we regard. 25 . Steerable endoscope for laparoscopic surgery by Paul Breedveld.1 Steerable endoscope it suitable for low-cost mass production of steerable endoscopes.
the filter tube can be stretched and released (Exhibit 4. Technical University of Berlin The tail fin of a fish reacts to a mechanical stimulation in an unexpected way. When the filter tube is in relaxed state.9. 4. When we apply an orthogonal force to the right side of the tail fin. Dr Markus Milwich and Dr Thomas Stegmaier. 4. food and chemical technology. But the fin bends into the direction of the force. the pore size is much smaller then in stretched state.10 ITV’s braided bag filter (a) stretched. Basic requirements for this system are: • • • • • • High selectivity with particle separation Chemical and thermal resistance Little tendency to fouling Constant operation conditions High mechanical strength Reasonable price Exhibit 4. ITV Denkendorf This project was inspired by the sea sponge which in nature works as a highly energyefficient filtration pump. Exhibit 4. When pressure is applied to the right hand side.3 Fin ray The team at ITV developed a braided bag filter based on the shape of a hose or a tube.7 . the application of the developed adaptive tube filters can offer new microfiltration methods in the fields of waste water. we would expect the fin to yield.7 . Leif Kniese. The idea coming from that source of inspiration is to build a highly effective crossflow microfiltration system. Due to the variable pore size and the good cleaning performance. showing how the camera is oriented in the abdominal cavity.9 ITV’s filter system equipment with the filter tube in the pipe on the right side 26 . This tube can be vertically installed in the filter tube system as shown in Exhibit 4. Michael Linke. This sponge is able to filter a remarkable amount of water for food particles and oxygen by using its collar cells.10).2 Adaptive braided bag filter Adaptive braided bag filter for microfiltration in solid-liquid separation processes by Dr Jamal Sarsour. Department of Bionic and Evolution Technology.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE This provides intuitive control of the tip. (b) relaxed Due to its flexible construction. the fin’s end turns right in a significant manner.
4 Acoustic camera Exhibit 4. Instead of using a video image as positioning layer. 27 .12 Spherical array. Berlin The acoustic camera is a lightweight. The microphones are therefore installed at the height of the driver’s head and capture surrounding noises (all-round measurement).7 . such as chairs. This enables the operation system afterwards to overlay visual and audio signals layer by layer. Exhibit 4. 32-channel acoustic camera system for interior use Acoustic camera – listening with your eyes by Dr Ing Olaf Jaeckel. this system is able to make noise sources visible by spectral evaluation Independent from each array. this tool adapts to the shape of an object. Like an intelligent shaping tool. ergonomic parts. beds and many more.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE This behaviour woke the interest of Leif Kniese of the Technical University of Berlin. Similar to a thermal imaging camera. quality management and for environmental tasks. The array can have either a circular. and colour-coding loud areas red and quiet areas blue. in internal and external sound design.12. carrier systems for backpacks. He then developed a mechanical device which reacts in a very similar way when it is facing external force (Exhibit 4. Other areas of application can be in the aviation industry (wings and fins). He became interested in the fin’s morphology and started to do research work. The system consists of an array of microphones connected to a personal computer (PC) via a data-recording device. modular and flexible system for positioning and analysing noise sources. 4. linear or spherical pattern. all systems have a video capturing device in the centre of the pattern. See Exhibit 4.11 Fin ray Further development stages then led to a device which has unique gripper tool properties. which shapes around an object. This system could be used for the automotive industry. GFaI. Spherical patterns for example would be used to capture noise which is disturbing the driver of a car.11). one could also use the computer-aided design (CAD) file of the checked object.
scientists of the Bionics Department at the Technical University of Berlin asked themselves how the widespread. a bionic propeller (Exhibit 4. Combining those facts. Comparing the diameter of the stem to its height. including aviation.13) has been developed. Plants as concept generators for innovative biomimetic structures and materials by Thomas Speck and Tom Masselter. Regarding the turbulence caused by aircraft wings.5 Bionic propeller 4. flexible outer wing changes the flight and drag performance. giant bamboos and vines are the base for biomimetic products for many different industries. Those materials are built to resist specific forces.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 4. The new propeller is designed such that its blades meet each other to form a circular outer wing. 28 The giant reed is bionically interesting because of its optimised fibre orientation and distribution. The principle is to split up vortices at the wing tip. the team at EvoLogics started to work on a new wing system inspired by nature.14 Model of stem structure Following up this idea. The team at the Botanic Garden of the University of Freiburg chose the giant reed as a biological model to learn about gradient materials. Botanic Garden of the University of Freiburg and BIOKON Different biological models such as mammut trees. a significant amount of energy is wasted and not used to create upforce.7 . Gradient materials with optimised structure and weight properties are more often the focus of industrial collaboration. The idea was to use drag forces as efficiently as possible and therefore save energy. This highly efficient and noise-avoiding propeller has been adopted for new aviation design. known as ‘winglets’ in airplanes. automotive and architecture.7 . Further areas of application are fans.13 Bionic propeller from EvoLogics GmbH Exhibit 4. the flexibility of the plant is enormous. Exhibit 4. . Berlin Inspired by the fanned wing tips of an eagle.6 Plants as concept generators EvoLogics GmbH. Its gradual transition between fibre and matrixes gives inspiration to build lightweight structures with high stiffness and strength. ship propellers and chopper blades.
Exhibit 4.15 Technical plant stem developed by University of Freiburg in collaboration with ITV Denkendorf To manufacture this material. 4. high-end pultrusion and 3D-single-braiding techniques were used. Based on this. The plant Aristolochia macrophylla is known for its self-repairing capability in the vine. air leakage 29 . In a second phase. a team from Thomas Speck developed a plantinspired self-healing system for pneumatic systems such as aircraft. polymerised under pressure.7 Self-healing structures Together with various industrial partners.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Based on this model the team from Freiburg developed a technical plant stem (Exhibit 4. the team worked on developing a selfrepairing foam with some promising results. longlasting high dynamic load capacity and benign fracture behaviour. caused by holes up to 5 mm diameter can be delayed by two to three orders of magnitude. not only sealing but real repair should be achieved.15) in collaboration with ITV Denkendorf. ie re-establishment of the mechanical properties of the membrane. The stem is made of a bionically optimised fibre-reinforced compound material. bridges or architectural elements. This material gives high vibration damping. Plants have developed an enormous capacity to seal and mend internal fissures. With the bionically optimised foam.7 . The idea is to prevent damage through air leakage.
it Consideration of the ubiquitous ‘hook and loop’ product Velcro illustrates that biologically inspired products can result in significant commercial potential.3 5. 5. a crucial factor for accurate diagnosis. so the innovation has been in developing an improved overall system. due to performance benefits resulting in less patient trauma and damage ensuring large cost savings in post-operative patient care. An interesting feature of this case study is the way it has developed in an ‘incubator’ – ie GFaI (discussed in Section 5. The benefits of the device were well defined: to give a better image of the target area.3 below).BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 5 COMMERCIAL VALUE OF BIOMIMETICS Martin Kemp 5. A secondary benefit would be realised if the endoscope diameter could be minimised. factor. which strengthened the justification of research cost.2 5. resulting in reduced tissue damage. since it was invented in 1941. This chapter will assess the role of funding on commercialisation of biomimetics research. A noise measurement and visualisation tool based on a ‘bat radar’ analogue was presented by Dr Jaeckel of GFaI. A selection of biomimetics case studies will first be compared. Cost of the device was not so much of an issue. A microfluidics ‘pump’ development funded by Philips featured cost as a significant. The product also had an additional highadded-value application in drug testing. but not overriding. In view of its success.4 5. the product received commercial interest from a 30 . The methodology behind this device is well known. The biomimetics fluid transport system would be more expensive than a micropump but offered added functionality in terms of fluid mixing. In general terms. which would allow more precise surgery cut depth. it was made clear that Philips was ‘very aware’ of cost and was looking at four different ‘actuator’ options. the time to develop a significant market even for this ‘new paradigm’ product has been considerable. industry has identified the usefulness of this tool.1 5. and cost might be a deciding factor in the final choice of technique. even if higher than standard instruments. Again. This tool shows great potential for transportation design and noise optimisation and environmental monitoring. the market was medical (diagnostics) and a premium product (at least initially) was envisaged. If Philips successfully develops this product.1 Devices The steerable endoscope developed by DEAM uses biomimetic principles to achieve an improved product compared to existing products.1. Having successfully achieved both of these aims. and hence reduced hospital treatment costs. since the source of natural inspiration is virtually endless. the simpler system would probably be preferred due to reduced cost (‘complexity costs money’). However. especially depth perception. Berlin. With Porsche as the launch customer. However.1 Commercial case for biomimetic solutions Role of funding Incubators and consortia Discussion and conclusions Commercial case for biomimetic solutions manufacturer of such devices. it begs the question why there are not more ‘killer applications’.
DaimlerChrysler indicated no follow-on activity. This can be realised and used by engineers using finite element (FE) stress analysis software.1). The barrier to full exploitation in the car industry appears to be that the optimised structures are too expensive to manufacture.1. In the former case. including the SKO modelling approach of Professor Mattheck. Satisloh is investigating use in processing lenses. giving soft-touch feel for car interiors (joint patent). Dr Bannasch of TU Berlin compared the ‘normal’ exploitation of research ideas to the exploitation of ‘biomimetic’ ideas. and the work at ITV Denkendorf simulated hollow plant-stem structures. as evidenced by applications in prostheses (‘Springlite’). DaimlerChrysler). and funding by State or Regional Government as in Germany: 31 . This immediately allows industry the opportunity to rapidly assess the potential. The diversity of applications. The company Binder is interested in developing an adhesive tape version (it has patented the finest scale ‘Velcro’ with 40 µm features). For joining. However. from specific devices to generic products with wide potential application. which are so different in every way. As with Velcro. such a product has a diverse marketing potential. 5. resulting in a synthetic gecko foot structure using a textured soft polymer. As a case study. since it has been taken through proof-of-concept stage to prototyping. the strength of interfaces is crucial.1. The ‘evolutionary’ approach to process or design optimisation was presented by INPRO.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE could have huge commercial potential in future microfluidics devices. train body outer skins (‘Bekaert’). Reticel of Belgium to prevent polymer surfaces squeaking. and hence promises a powerful and accessible tool. Surface-to-surface contact properties are involved in the way we touch. in another industry this method might provide significant benefits. These properties have been investigated by MPI Stuttgart. 5. even though real car components had been optimised. However.2 Optimisation 5. Shunk is interested in developing grippers for silicon wafers and solar batteries. grip and feel everyday objects. he argued that starting a significant number of ideas deriving from biomimetics had multiple applications. from coffee blending to optical lens optimisation. Tubular elements are widely used in industry.3 Functional surfaces The DaimlerChrysler ‘bionic car’ explores aerodynamic and structural/weight benefits of biomimetic principles. this overcomes several barriers to commercialisation.2 Role of funding Two main research funding models were seen on this mission: funding by large companies (eg Philips. illustrate the diversity of products that can be derived from biomimetic research. ITV has taken this design idea forward by developing a braiding technique coupled with pultrusion to enable rapid net shape manufacture. a software package using neural network processing techniques. and OVD Kinegram of Switzerland is investigating softtouch metal strips on euro banknotes for authenticity and anticounterfeiting (this could be in the form of frictional anisotropy). ie greater possibilities for commercial exploitation (Exhibit 5. These case studies. To describe the latter inventions. was impressive and indicated that it could be used in a wide range of markets. Voith in a paper feeding system. Airbus curved stringers (‘Fiber Innovations’). and for a bicycle frame tube (‘Vyatek’). A number of companies (including automotive) are interested in novel attachment devices.
1 million). with the objective that the network becomes self-funding in 2007 BIOKON . One conclusion of the mission is that UK industry might fund significant research projects if they were more aware that the approach existed. BIOKON members include universities.1 Business development for biomimetic compared to ‘normal’ ideas (after Bannasch) • The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) • Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) – German Environment Foundation • The state of Baden-Württemberg • An increasing number of university sponsors In Germany. Max Planck Institutes and Fraunhofer research groups. The network provides internal networking infrastructure. Switzerland. the BIOKON network was set up in 2001 with six members and now comprises 52 members in 28 locations. The success of BIOKON I led to a second round of funding for July 2004 to July 2007 (BIOKON II) in which BMBF awarded 20 research groups a total of €6 million (~£4. BIOKON also provides an access mechanism for German industry to the research community. as well as a platform for international collaboration. indicating the high regard with which this work is regarded by the German Government as a promotional topic. Spain. Canada. It has run workshops for different market sectors (eg automotive and marine). 32 .BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE ‘Normal’ Netherlands. Norway. In addition to a website and newsletter. International links have been set up with groups in the USA.6 million) from June 2001 to June 2004. At an international level. Now employing a director and run as a commercial entity – Forschungsgemeinschaft Bionik-Kompetenznetz eV – BIOKON has also been active in promoting biomimetics to German industry. The first round of funding for BIOKON from BMBF was €2.4 million (~£1. BIOKON has coordinated a major exhibition stand at the Hannover Messe engineering fair in 2005. The key to removing this barrier appears to be the need to communicate and raise industry awareness. Chile. Japan. Argentina. It allowed direct promotion of biomimetics to end-user engineering industries by a variety of eyecatching demonstrators and exhibits. Another networking opportunity in Germany has been the creation of a bionics (biomimetics) working group within the Association of German Engineers (VDI). ‘Biotechnology – Using and Biomimetic Ideas Projects Start-ups Products Exhibit 5. due to the requirement to retain confidentiality. BIOKON provided exhibits for the German pavilion at Japan Expo 2005. Australia. China and Singapore. A secondary funding initiative under the BMBF framework programme has been a funding competition primarily for young researchers. and understood the potential benefits. France. This display was funded jointly by BIOKON and the nine industry sponsors who exhibited. UK. appears to have made good progress towards this objective by engaging German industry and setting up international links. New Zealand. It has been noted by the BIOKON network that publications involving industry sponsors are few. Italy.
000) was for around 20 demonstrator projects with the aim of early commercialisation. Founded in 1990 as a not-for-profit organisation.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Shaping its Opportunities’. Volkswagen AG and the city-state of Berlin. This mission witnessed involvement by biologists. which receives Berlin-state funding but must match this from its overall sales income). This unusual model has potential if a number of noncompetitive companies see benefit in sharing access to developments. and needs input from a range of disciplines. ThyssenKrupp Automotive AG. Volkswagen AG and the city-state of Berlin. ThyssenKrupp Automotive AG. Small spin-out companies marketing a single product or concept (eg EvoLogics’ ‘fin ray effect’) were making inroads. 5. engineers. GFaI is an interesting incubator model. The total funding of €1 million (~£680. or wrong preconceptions. In Germany. due to lack of awareness.4 Discussion and conclusions Engaging industry and generating wealth is an important factor in biomimetics as in all innovation. large companies (eg Festo actuators. which was launched in December 2003. but it seems that those based in a univeristy department derive benefit from the ’incubator’ environment. IWKA AG. it now has 100 employees all developing computer science based businesses. An alternative model worthy of examination is the not-for-profit incubator ‘cooperative’ (eg GFaI acoustic camera. chemists and physicists to name but a few. The INPRO organisation is a joint-ownership development company owned by BASF Coatings AG. The network approach can assist in this. 33 .3 Incubators and consortia From the research perspective. but not the immediate market access a host company can provide. A significant number of commercial products were observed with apparently different exploitation models. Research funding therefore needs more ‘effort’ to overcome traditional funding down single-discipline streams (eg BBSRC and EPSRC in the UK). • Biomimetics is interdisciplinary. then projects which may not produce commercial income can survive the early stage of commercialisation by being ‘supported’ by the more commercially developed projects. the setting up of a network (BIOKON) has facilitated access by industry. 5. which were not generally biomimetics but solved industrial problems. The ‘fast track’ commercialisation route appeared to be those products deriving from research funded by. mathematicians. DaimlerChrysler AG. based on a joint-ownership development company owned by BASF Coatings AG. The INPRO model is another unusual model. or licensed to. Raising awareness of the importance of the subject to decision-makers in government is important. and given critical mass for actively promoting the subject and its products (eg at Hannover Messe). networked the ‘solution providers’. DaimlerChrysler AG. Biomimetics has a credibility barrier with industry end users. STO paint). INPRO investigates and develops concepts and products of interest to its owners. GFaI receives 70% state (ie Berlin) funding each year to which it must match 30% from sales or industry income. Since GFaI is able to assign the government income as it wishes. as is also targeting potential industry sponsors. there are two major barriers which need to be addressed: • Biomimetics is research-intensive and funding is therefore required from government or industry. and also agglomerates commercial income. IWKA AG.
Some have been technology-driven solutions which. 34 . and lessons from this should be applied to the UK situation. The size of this network (one of the German ‘Kompetenznetze’)9 is equivalent to a KTN in the UK. An ‘incubator’ model appears to work well in biomimetics. It is therefore important that the UK funding bodies consider the most appropriate way to increase funding to this topic to the benefit of UK industry. many certainly have the potential to succeed. and the potential 9 www. Equivalents to Max Planck and Fraunhofer establishments with their government or industry funding models hardly exist in the UK. A significant number of the biomimetic solutions examined during the mission have clear end uses and markets. A common feature was that they were all relatively ‘young’ in terms of development. although the latter might have much larger commercial potential. in which a university provides researchers with support for commercialising products. A European network concept was discussed during the mission. However. Biomimetic solutions derived for specific industry problems appeared to be easier to market than generic solutions (eg dry adhesive). have found industrial interest.de commercial success in five or 10 years is impossible to estimate. The BIOKON network has had a major effect in promoting and organising German biomimetics research. The only real similarity between the commercialisation examples examined here is the diversity of the end products and the natural analogues from which inspiration was derived. and hence are market driven. because of their effectiveness. and received a generally favourable acceptance. and developments such as the ‘dry adhesive’ based on the gecko foot could be as significant as Velcro. and provides industry with a facilitated route to prototyping and development. Others have been funded by industry to solve a specific problem.kompetenznetze. and indicates that as a problem-solving or innovation tool it can be used by any industry for any problem. This diversity embodies the ‘power’ of the biomimetics approach.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE The large and well-organised BIOKON network in Germany reflects the large amount of government research funding received by these institutions.
textures and colours alone is not biomimetics. but it need not. but not – as we have seen – biomimetic. not just its look. Nature is a good teacher in this regard.. whereas the latter – visual taste and style – follows a more complex trajectory. like any other design field. or to the opportunities it promises.4 6. biomimetics has to have some biology in it. Visual fashion. A hard-edged and minimal phone (for example) could be packed with biomimetic innovations. with vehicles and consumer products encased in smoothly flowing forms and curvy details. to be truly biomimetic.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 6 BIOMIMETICS AND PRODUCT DESIGN Geoff Hollington 6. This design language is hard-edged and machine-like but succeeds in being humane and friendly through its simplicity and careful use of materials.6 6. then. not a style What product designers should know What is the appeal to designers? The commercial case Conclusions Introduction incremental path of ‘improvement’. to quote mission member Dr Julian Vincent: ‘. Put simply. The awareness. a design should in some way be informed by nature’s science. be it in clothes. Bio-inspired perhaps. but imitating or being inspired by natural-looking forms. At present (2007) the fashion is for a kind of post-Bauhaus minimalism. A biomimetic product could easily be designed to look zoomorphic. often returning to revisit certain forms. 6. designers simply are not exposed to the breadth of activity and achievement in biomimetics. details and colours again and again. biomimetics should be a standard part of the product designer’s toolkit. It could.5 6.2 6.1 6. In product design the fashion a decade ago was for so-called ‘organic’ shapes.3 What product designers should know When a product designer says that a particular design is influenced by nature.3 6. he or she is most likely talking about its appearance: it has an ‘organic’ shape. 6. This discussion of fashion and style is worthwhile because it is important to understand that biomimetics has nothing to do with appearance. but it is not. is anecdotal rather than systematic. but it does not have to. So it is important for designers to understand that biomimetics does not necessarily influence the appearance and style of a product.’ By which he means that. Although many designers are aware of some individual achievements of biomimetic science and technology – non-wetting surface treatments for example – the subject does not have a high profile in the design community. is a child of fashion. products or buildings. has a progressive trend – a gradual one-way change influenced mainly by technology – and intertwined cyclical trends where preferences come and go. No matter what your level of focus – from metres down to nanometres – biology does 35 . The things we make evolve along both technological and visual pathways and we tend to see the former as a one-way. not a style Product design.2 A technique.. as exemplified in the work of British-born design chief Jonathan Ive at Apple.1 Introduction A technique.
as they suggest routes for improving the ways we design and make things. So designers who choose to embrace biomimetics will find it inspiring and liberating. It offers. But ‘branch’ is hardly sufficient to describe a technology with access to such a wealth of source material and with such breadth and depth of application. More proactively. no product recalls! Continuous improvement. it is now well advanced in the process of becoming a stand-alone branch of technology. but combines them in complex composites) Inventors. making recycling much easier (biology employs very few materials. easy recycling Low-cost and fast repairs. they can employ biomimetics themselves.3. At a deeper level of engagement these insights can lead to new design strategies. for example.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE things differently to human technology (Exhibit 6.4 What is the appeal to designers? Product designers can seek to imitate these advantageous strategies in two ways: • As ‘clients’ for biomimetic materials.1 Biology does things differently to human technology 36 . which is not surprising as we are animals ourselves. For all intents and purposes the scope of biomimetics is limitless. But whereas until quite recently such biomimetic design was unpredictable. minimum downtime.1). by: • Reducing the number of different materials in a product assembly. automatic design optimisation Low energy.1 Who does what? • Making a reduced materials repertoire function in diverse ways by structuring surfaces • Learning from the designs of macrostructures in nature (eg squid tentacle. its lessons close to infinite in number. in some ways. designers can utilise (and support the development of) biomimetic materials. immersed in the diversity of biology. an alternative ‘lens’ through which to contemplate any design Human technology Creation by fabrication Survival by repetition Improvement through design High-temperature processes Many materials External repair Biology Creation by growth Survival by variation Improvement through evolution Low-temperature processes Few materials Self repair Nature’s advantage No assembly constraints. penguin fluid dynamics. engineers and product designers have always taken inspiration from nature. Just to be aware of these differences is a source of enlightenment to any product designer. even accidental. recyclable compounds Easier materials sourcing. processes and components. bamboo stem etc) • Developing product self-repair techniques • Employing evolutionary design processes • Informing man-machine interaction design through observation of animal behaviour 6. no screws! Faults quickly eliminated. 6. components and techniques generated by technical R&D coming from either research or industry labs • By employing biomimetic design processes themselves As technology clients. no call centres! Exhibit 6.
it would not have been possible to say that product designers initiate a high proportion of the innovation and creativity in product development or that they represent a broad conduit for the introduction of new materials and processes. should be aware of biomimetics and its innovation potential. or we. It also offers a vast inventory of sources and catalysts for invention and innovation.6 Conclusions • Every product designer. Biomimetics offers competitive advantages to suppliers of materials. Finally. might call ‘cool new stuff’. whether in consultancy or employed in-house. 6. Prior to that. and to the makers and brand owners of finished products. In comparison. processes and components. 6. Product designers represent one important and welldefined channel for dissemination.5 The commercial case • A long-term education strategy should be developed and properly funded to create awareness of biomimetics amongst UK product designers in practice and in education • Networks. as is now the case. product designers have a self-appointed duty to track and investigate what they. But its maturity is much more recent. workshops and events could help forge links and transfer knowledge between the design and technical communities Product design (alternatively called industrial design) is a youngish profession – no more than 70 years old. They also have a direct influence on technology adoption and material and component specification.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE challenge. Designers operate in a competitive environment where early adoption and innovation are the most useful survival strategies. biomimetics should therefore be part of every designer’s standard toolkit • UK product design will be strengthened and made more competitive through the increased awareness of biomimetics 37 . the ‘source book’ of schemes and models from human technology is a thin volume. just a decade or two.
1 Top-down process This chapter examines the biomimetic processes used to date to generate the successful engineering solutions and opportunities inspired by biological systems.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 7 INTEGRATING BIOMIMETICS INTO PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Matthias Gester 7 .1 Top-down process of biomimetics (courtesy University of Freiburg) 38 .4 7.1. and how these processes can be formalised so they become more readily available to both biologists and engineers.3 7 .2 7 .1 Introduction Processes Tools Conclusions and recommendations Introduction • A technical problem is identified by an engineer who then looks to nature for a solution – this biomimetic process is often referred to as top-down • A natural phenomenon is researched and understood by a biologist who then seeks for an application in the technical world – this biomimetic process is often referred to as bottom-up 7 .2 Processes As illustrated in Exhibit 7 the top-down . process comprises the following steps: • • • • • Formulate the technical problem Seek for analogies in biology Identify corresponding principles Abstract from the biological model Implement technology through prototyping and testing As previous examples show.1 7 .2. an engineering material or a technical device can be designed through inspiration by nature in two ways: Exhibit 7. 7.
BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE The top-down approach was used by DaimlerChrysler to reduce the drag of a car. It had been observed a long time ago that the leaves of the lotus plant not only repel water Exhibit 7. an engineer was aware of the biomimetic process through training. wanted to develop a flexible endoscope. information needs to be available which relates the biological structure and function of a multitude of natural organisms so that analogues with technical systems can be drawn. In another example. functional morphology and anatomy • Understand the principles • Abstract from the biological model • Implement technology through prototyping and testing The bottom-up approach led to the discovery and exploitation of the lotus effect. 7 . considered next. Studies of the shape of the boxfish led to the development of the bionic car. which could still carry four passengers and luggage. biomimetics is not an established process which an engineer would consider when embarking on the design of a new product.2 Bottom-up process of biomimetics (courtesy University of Freiburg) 39 . To become a standard process. By considering biomimetics as a process to solve only an existing technical problem another aspect is completely lost: biomimetics also offers opportunities for completely new materials and devices. biomimetics needs to be included in the education of the modern engineer. In the case of the DaimlerChrysler bionic car. This is achieved by the bottom-up process. a spin-out from Delft University in the Netherlands. process comprises the following steps: • Identify a biological system • Analyse biomechanics. however. In general.2. BEAM. In addition. A mechanism for bending the outer tube of an endoscope was designed in analogy of the squid’s tentacles.2.2 Bottom-up process As illustrated in Exhibit 7 the bottom-up .
Regardless whether biology or technology is the starting point for the biomimetic process. both cases rely on an intimate interdisciplinary collaboration to generate a successful new material or device. who has studied an organism and identified that nature’s design offers a valuable technical opportunity.4 Conclusion and recommendations If a solution for an existing problem or a new business opportunity is sought or found through inspiration from nature. the existing data have to be assembled in a database and a larger number of biological systems need to be analysed and added to this database. 7. A TRIZ-based system to transfer functions. TRIZ was developed in Russia for 40 There are two processes to generate technical solutions and opportunities inspired by nature. Finally. Study of the microstructure at the Institute for Materials Research at the University of Karlsruhe. to find an engineering partner to implement the concept. and later understanding of its function. Universities may contribute through teaching bionics as part of . it is possible to use a lexical search method in which biological texts are searched for keywords corresponding to the terminology in which an engineering problem can be described. To make this system useful as a bionic engineering tool. and its outcome depends on the availability and quality of the biological literature. The database is searched and used in the same way as the materials selector and so can suggest suitable materials for particular applications. Dr Wegst is introducing elements of the TRIZ system to suggest improvements. the need arises for a more systematic biomimetic process. Another example is the development of dry adhesives based on the analysis of the microand nanostructure of the gecko’s foot at the Centre for Tribology of Biological and Bioinspired Surfaces at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart. It is often difficult for a biological expert. 7. This method is fairly quick and simple but relies on finding a suitable translation of engineering terminology into biology.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE but also have the tendency to clean themselves. This system is based on the Cambridge Materials Selector and lists about 1. A complementary database system is being developed at the Centre for Tribology of Biological and Bio-inspired Surfaces at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart by Dr Wegst. For instance. such as the lotus coated textiles and plant stem structures.3 Tools solving technical problems assuming that a solution can be derived from the analysis of existing solutions to problems which share common characteristics. both of which rely on the close collaboration of biologists and engineers. led to the development of superhydrophobic coatings. For this purpose. This is obvious from all the examples given in previous chapters. ITV Denkendorf was able to use detailed biological studies from the University of Freiburg and combine these with its expertise in textile manufacturing and an understanding of industrial requirements to generate new materials.000 biological materials with attributes. three different tools are currently being developed. mechanisms and principles from biology to engineering has been pioneered at the Engineering Department of the University of Bath. Increased awareness of these processes is required to fully lever the benefits of biomimetics as a valuable complementary approach to engineering. For this purpose the ideal result and its constraints are first defined and then used to look up solution principles from a matrix.
which still require more resources to be developed into useful engineering aids. partners can be found through contacting the BIOKON network. cannot replace the interdisciplinary biomimetics process. which leaves individuals in the universities of Reading and Bath as the key points of contact. 41 . which with 270 academic and industrial members in its fifth year is a model for bringing partners together. In Germany.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE engineering degrees. more importantly. the UK BIONIS network so far lacks proper funding and administrative support. However. Systematic tools. in particular since ultimately only the collaborative work of biologists and engineers will generate successful results. network formation of parties active or interested in biomimetics is necessary. However.
BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE 8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Cathy Barnes 8. perhaps the key to understanding the role of biomimetics in product design is the fact that the reason for the success of any product is not that it can trace its roots back to a natural principle but that it is an example of good design! Biomimetics is a philosophical approach that can lead to novel ideas and innovative solutions that have many potential advantages. The steerable endoscopes for laparoscopic surgery from the University of Delft are a good example of this.2 Recommendations The UK requires a networked resource to bring together the work in this area and thus support the industrial application of this exciting topic. 42 Perhaps more commercially viable opportunities are to be found from research which focuses from the opposite standpoint. there were still few examples of true technology transfer into real commercial applications. Biomimetics research in the UK has coalesced into the BIONIS network but the small amount of allocated funding has meant little progress in raising awareness and exposure. It provides a single point of contact for industry to access all the exciting work on biomimetics in Germany and provides a seamless process to link the commercial world and academic research. This means that a problem is technologically defined and then appropriate biological solutions are searched. 8.1 8. The team observed two opposite approaches to the application of biomimetic principles. for example from functional. This should encompass: • The creation of a biological consultancy group to advise industry on how to apply techniques and to advise on novel solutions • A formal link to the research covered by the BIOKON group and other centres of excellence in the European Union (EU) to ensure leverage is gained from the knowledge generated in other countries – the EU could possibly look to fund this as part of a Seventh Framework Programme initiative • Activities to raise awareness of this issue to both industry and potential funders (DTI.1 Conclusions Recommendations Conclusions The mission team found a rich and diverse biomimetics research community in Germany and the Netherlands whose key strengths were the size of the community as supported by public research funding and the coordination of the work as exemplified by the BIOKON network. research councils etc) . The BIOKON network appears to work extremely successfully. The support and coordination of the BIOKON organisation has allowed German biomimetics research to generate significant exposure and momentum which has in turn increased funding and awareness of the topic as a route to product innovation. Empirical evidence from the discussions indicates that this discipline is reaching a new stage of maturity and commercial successes may not be far away. Many research institutes were studying nature with the intent of finding a new technology that could be applied to industrial problems. sustainability or weight perspectives. However. This method has its own issues as biology is an extremely large search space that is not fully mapped or understood. Despite this.2 8.
The biological sciences should be made aware of the commercial applications of their knowledge.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Education is key to the expansion of biomimetics. It should be included in the education syllabus of engineers and designers to make them aware of the potential of the approach. 43 . research is still needed to identify a process for integrating biomimetics within the product development cycle and to ensure the designers of tomorrow are fully aware of the significant opportunities nature can offer to improving product success. Benefits of awareness and exposure will be evidenced when the cohorts of these disciplines enter the commercial domain. However. Funding should be made available to support the training of the next generation of experts in this area to ensure succession of this important topic in the UK.
Biomimetics – its practice and theory. Biomimetics and technical textiles: solving engineering problems with the help of nature’s wisdom. Godfaurd J. Attachment devices of insect cuticle. structure and properties. Arribart H and Giraud Guille M M (2005). Bogatyrev N R. VCH Mattheck C (1998). 1-9 Vincent J F V. William Morrow Beukers A and Hinte E v (1998). Design in nature – learning from trees. Cellular solids. Stegmaier T and Planck H (2006). 471-482 Wainwright S A. Bowyer A and Pahl A-K (2006). Sustainable building solutions: a review of lessons from the natural world. Currey J D and Gosline J M (1976). Natural language analysis for biomimetic design. Speck O. Speck T. Mollusc shell structures: novel design strategies for synthetic materials. Cambridge: University Press. the Netherlands: Kluwer Gordon J E (1987). 413-416 Benyus J M (1997). New York: Freeman Kaplan D L (1998). Biomimetic materials chemistry. The mechanical design of organisms. Lightness: the inevitable renaissance of minimum energy structures. The science of structures and materials. American Journal of Botany 93. 1455-1465 Sanchez C. Biomimicry: innovation inspired by nature. Nature 409.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix A SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING Ball P (2001). Bogatyreva O A. Biggs W D. Biomimetism and bioinspiration as tools for the design of innovative materials and systems. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 3. Nature Materials 4. Life’s lessons in design. 277-288 Shu L H and Chiu I (2004). 232-236 Mann S (1996). In ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference. London: Arnold 44 . Rotterdam: 010 Press Gibson L J and Ashby M F (1997). pp DETC2004-57250. Dordrecht. Heidelberg: Springer Milwich M. Clements-Croome D and Jeronimidis G (2005). 319-328 Gorb S (2001). Building and Environment 40. Current Opinion in Solid State & Materials Science 3.
Berlin University of Potsdam British Embassy Lange Voorhout 10 2514 ED The Hague The Netherlands Institut für Textil.und Grenzflächenforschung (Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces) Department of Biomaterials Wissenschaftspark Golm D-14424 Potsdam Germany EvoLogics GmbH. Ulm University of Delft University of Groningen DEAM. Potsdam Technical University of Berlin EvoLogics GmbH. Magdeburg Hexagon Society for the Promotion of Applied Computer Science (GFaI).und Verfahrenstechnik (ITV) (Institute for Textile Technology and Process Engineering) Koerschtalstraße 26 D-73770 Denkendorf Germany Evolutionary Biomaterials Group Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung (Max Planck Institute for Metals Research) Heisenbergstraße 03 D-70569 Stuttgart Germany Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid.1 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Organisations met B. Eindhoven DaimlerChrysler. Berlin INPRO. F&E Labor Bionik Ackerstrasse 76 D-13355 Berlin Germany 45 .BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix B HOST ORGANISATIONS B. Delft Institute for Textile Technology and Process Engineering (ITV Denkendorf) University of Freiburg: Plant Biomechanics Group Max Planck Institute for Metals Research: Evolutionary Biomaterials Group. Stuttgart Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces.2 Locations visited Philips. Berlin Institute for Industrial Design.
1 Map of BIOKON network (courtesy BIOKON) 46 . Founded in 2001. This nationwide network thus encompasses the most important research groups in bionics and provides an ideal forum for scientific exchange. The group of six founding centres has since been expanded by 28 additional institutes and research facilities with outstanding competences in the field of bionics.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE B.biokon. secondary and tertiary education as well as providing qualified contacts for inquiries from the industry. (Source: www.net – accessed 24 January 2007) Exhibit B.3 BIOKON network The Bionics Competence Network (BIOKON) hosts the 28 major players in the field of bionics and biomimetics in Germany. BIOKON entered its second stage in June 2004. and subsequently tap its full potential. science and the general public. The aim of BIOKON is to demonstrate the possibilities of bionics to business and industry. the development of curricula for primary. It is a federally funded project under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
textural analysis and self-report elicitation of user feelings about products. emotional tribology and decision-based concurrent engineering and she has published extensively in these areas. Her research interests focus on the human interface of design and manufacturing and include affective design.com 47 .faradaypackaging. She is leading the development of affective engineering tools in a funded collaboration with nine major consumer goods companies and has particular experience of experimental design.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix C MISSION PARTICIPANTS Dr Cathy Barnes is a lecturer in Design and Manufacture Integration in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds and Human Sciences and Design Network Manager at Faraday Packaging Partnership. Dr Cathy Barnes Network Manager – Human Sciences and Design Faraday Packaging Partnership 3320 Century Way Thorpe Park Leeds LS15 8ZB UK T +44 (0)113 284 0217 F +44 (0)113 284 0211 email@example.com www.
he established. a botanist.ac. Helen. where he established the Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technologies.uk/mech-eng/biomimetics 48 . Professor Julian Vincent Professor of Biomimetics University of Bath Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technologies Department of Mechanical Engineering Bath BA2 7AY UK T +44 (0)1225 826 933 F +44 (0)1225 826 928 biomimetics@bath. becoming ever more interested in the interplay between biology and technology.uk www. with George Jeronimidis. Commitment to the study of insects (age six) led him to a first degree in zoology (age 22). As a lecturer in Zoology at the University of Reading. He was then invited to join the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Design at the University of Bath. a PhD in insect hormones (age 25) and a DSc in mechanical properties of insect cuticle (age 37). who works for BioRegional establishing protocols for sustainable living.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Julian Vincent is a biologist.ac. the Centre for Biomimetics at Reading.bath. They have a daughter. He is married to Elizabeth.
Geoff is author of many technical patents. particularly at the Royal College. creating products for big international brands. and has moderated PhDs and been external examiner for postgraduate degrees.uk www. . In January 2007 Geoff became a Design Mentor to the Materials and Design Exchange.uk Geoff is a product designer. launched in spring 2006. He has always been an innovator. Ravensbourne College of Art and the Royal College of Art in the UK.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Through most of his career Geoff has run his own London-based consulting firm. He studied Industrial Design at the Central School (now the University of the Arts) in London. has four children and lives in Lewes on the English coast. The product. He has written about design in newspapers and magazines and is a regular columnist on the topic of automotive design. His work has won international awards and is held in museum collections.hollington. 49 Geoff Hollington Hollington Associates T +44 (0)7770 567 669 geoff. particularly in the USA. 50 miles south of London.co. In 2003 he formed a high-tech start-up company to develop and market an advanced. followed by a postgraduate degree in environmental design at London’s Royal College of Art. Geoff also designed Sonnet – the classic. He has also given talks to audiences around the world. Geoff is married to Liz. best-selling Parker pen. innovator and commentator on design. In education Geoff has taught at Kingston University. combining technical and aesthetic invention in products that often advance the state of the art. digital massager.h@hollington. a node of the Materials KTN. took Geoff to China where he spent much of 2005 learning the hard way how to develop and manufacture high-tech products there. His Relay office furniture group for US giant Herman Miller was the first product to anticipate the modern organisation’s need for instant flexibility and mobility in the workplace: it won an IDEA/Business Week gold award.co.
Ohio. In 2005. P&G (founded in 1837 HQ in Cincinnati. evaluation and implementation of new technologies to generate concepts for hair removal devices with enhanced consumer benefits. .8 billion (~£930 million) into R&D carried out in 25 centres across the globe. Matthias read physics at the Technical University in Munich and obtained a PhD from Cambridge University. 50 .com Matthias Gester works for Procter & Gamble (P&G) in the Future Technologies group at the Gillette Advanced Technology Centre in Reading. His responsibilities include the identification. Gillette joined P&G in October 2005.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Dr Matthias Gester Senior Scientist Procter & Gamble Gillette Advanced Technology Centre 460 Basingstoke Road Reading RG2 0QE UK T +44 (0)118 923 1713 F +44 (0)118 975 2822 matthias_gester@gillette. beauty and healthcare and family and baby care. Previously he worked in the aerospace industry and in technology consulting.pg. USA) produces world-renowned brands of consumer products for household care. The company invested approximately $1.com www.000 employees worldwide and generated total net sales of $68 billion (~£35 billion). P&G had 140.
Dr Martin Kemp International Technology Promoter DTI Global Watch Service Pera Pera Innovation Park Nottingham Road Melton Mowbray Leicestershire LE13 0PB UK T +44 (0)1664 501 551 M +44 (0)7736 447 876 F +44 (0)1664 501 261 martin. He specialises in advanced materials and nanotechnology. Organisations wishing to discuss overseas technology and partnering opportunities are invited to make contact.kemp@pera. Formerly a Materials Scientist with experience of biomimetics research at QinetiQ (formerly DERA).com 51 .globalwatchservice.com www.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Martin Kemp has nearly five years’ experience assisting UK organisations find technology partners across Western Europe. and has overseen five overseas technology missions. he has 10 years’ experience of marketing and selling innovation to UK and overseas markets.
Florence and Dallas. In October 2005 he took up his present post as Packaging Development & Innovation Manager at COSi Ltd. Thereafter he worked as Packaging Technologist at the Nestlé Group. Paris.200 people within R&D and at its two plants in the UK. Trend prediction and overall direction for product development is led by COSi’s product marketing team who have completely embraced the global marketplace. A third beauty plant.cosiworld. from the design studio to the factory floor.poitevin@cosiworld. in Shanghai. skin care. A state-of-the-art R&D laboratory in West Sussex houses four individual R&D teams (colour cosmetics.com 52 . Somewhere there is a duplicate. COSi was founded in 1992 and now employs over 1. China. fragrances and personal care products for brand owners all over the world. He worked for Estée Lauder Companies for nearly two decades. or a copy we can use in our industry. There are no barriers. an idea.com www.’ COSi (Creative Outsourcing Solutions International) develops and manufactures colour cosmetics. Coty Inc and Marks & Spencer.‘There is nothing such as an innovation. manufacturing and employee development. are located in Shanghai.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Patrick Poitevin is of Belgian origin. from the development of an individual to the strategic direction of the company. hair care and bath & body) that work closely with a highly innovative packaging development team headed up by Patrick Poitevin. His passion for packaging leads to innovation in any aspect. COSi has won numerous awards for innovation. is due to commence operations in 2007 Sales and sourcing offices . Patrick Poitevin Packaging Development & Innovation Manager COSi Ltd Watersmead Business Park Littlehampton West Sussex BN17 6LS UK T +44 (0)1903 278 000 F +44 (0)1903 278 004 patrick. Campina. It is embedded in COSi’s culture. Imagination and innovation is at the core of everything COSi does. nature supplies it all. New York.
food and automation industries. Stuttgart. As part of his studies. Outside work Johannes spends time playing in his rock band and snow boarding. ColepCCL Innovation ’s Centre enhances the strategy to deliver a full package solution to the customer. he worked in collaboration with several partners in the FMCG. supports the vision to reshape the packaging industry. overthe-counter pharmaceutical and household products. and CCL Europe. . packaging design and logistics. cosmetic. 53 Johannes Schampel Packaging Specialist ColepCCL UK Ltd Atkinson Way Foxhills Industrial Park Scunthorpe DN15 8QJ UK T +49 173 945 9850 johannes. The company was founded in 2004 by the merger of Colep. and the use of an innovation process management system tailored to customer needs.com www. the Portuguese producer of steel aerosol and general line cans and an aerosol filler. including rapid prototyping and product formulation in high-end state-of-the-art facilities (European Centre of Application Technology). ColepCCL is Europe’s largest contract manufacturer of personal care. Poland and the UK.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE He is the packaging specialist of the innovation team and brings to the table a fresh approach and a sound technical knowledge.100 people throughout Europe. Spain. ColepCCL is a pan-European group in Germany. contract manufacturer of various products and a subsidiary of CCL Industries in Canada.colepccl. His fields of interest are new packaging materials. With a multinational and multidisciplinary group of trained people. intelligent research capabilities and knowledge management. Portugal. academic institutions and industries outside ColepCCL normal sphere ’s of operation. as the Innovation Centre was launched. The group has a turnover of around €300 million (~£200 million) and employs 2. as a graduate of Packaging Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences. to bring to customers the most attractive ideas and solutions. The Innovation Centre. with a focus on creativity in problem solving.schampel@colepccl. pharmaceutical.com Johannes joined ColepCCL in March 2006. the Innovation Centre also draws on expertise from suppliers. This dynamic approach. offers an unprecedented service to ColepCCL customers. Working as ’s a central network hub of knowledge.
In addition he has been actively engaged in IOM3’s efforts to link the materials and the design community through the Materials and Design Exchange (MADE). new materials. One of his major responsibilities under MADE has been the organisation of a series of workshops that address technology awareness needs for the design community both in London and the regions. 54 . With a background in failure analysis his major role is to provide help and guidance to industrial companies on selection of the appropriate material and manufacturing process for a given requirement. The workshop topics include nanotechnology. Minerals and Mining (IOM3) 1 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5DB UK T +44 (0)1494 528 718 brian.iom3. He is also aiding the development of a physical resource centre which will eventually have over 600 separate material samples suitably catalogued with supporting information. medical devices and ‘green’ polymers.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Brian Knott Materials Advisor Institute of Materials. Minerals and Mining (IOM3).firstname.lastname@example.org www. the new design node of the DTI’s Materials KTN.org Brian Knott is a Materials Advisor working for the Institute of Materials.
thoughtcrew. In this role he provides challenge and leadership in combined consulting and client teams aimed at significantly improving the client’s business condition. Phil Richardson Director of Consulting Thoughtcrew Ltd Mill House Carlingcott Bath BA2 8AP UK T +44 (0)208 133 4728 F +44 (0)870 133 6532 www. then works through until the problem is solved and the results are realised. Thoughtcrew Ltd was formed in 2000 to provide a peer-level support service to busy executives needing to define and deliver significant change. runs the consulting division of Thoughtcrew Ltd.net 55 . Phil is researching a PhD in biomimetics at the University of Bath. Projects are delivered collaboratively with clients. a strategy and process consultant. he is also an associate lecturer for the Open University Business School MBA and a Chartered Biologist. strategic challenge and a clear focus on the customer. It specialises in process thinking. Thoughtcrew gets involved in the ‘How do I sell this idea to my executive colleagues’ stage of thinking.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Phil Richardson. He is responsible for managing a range of business transformation programmes for leading blue-chip organisations and local government. In most cases.
Stuttgart) Models from trees.15 3.13 3.11 3. such as glass. sharks. Stuttgart) Head-arresting system in dragonflies (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research.7 3. Martin Kemp. dolphins.10 3. MagdeburgStendal) Reduction of materials conception (courtesy Dr Mirtsch/P Poitevin) 3. Berlin) Surface applications inspired by penguins. Germany/ P Poitevin) Fin ray effect can also be used in the packaging printing industry. Julian Vincent. lotus leaves. Germany/P Poitevin) Modular walking robots (courtesy University of Applied Sciences.16 3. Germany) Fin ray effect used for ergonomic chair (courtesy BIOKON. bamboos and vines used for construction in aircraft. Berlin) Cell wall constructions for wood (courtesy Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces.4 3. L Matthias Gester. Berlin) Acoustic camera (courtesy Gesellschaft zur Förderung angewandter Informatik – GFaI.1 7 Mission team at the Radisson Hotel. roofs and bridges (courtesy University of Freiburg) Glass fibre construction (courtesy Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. Germany) Dry adhesive (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research. Geoff -R: Hollington.20 19 19 56 .6 3. Cathy Barnes.1 3. Brian Knott.14 3. where tolerances are too large for proper jig printing (courtesy BIOKON.12 3. cars. Stuttgart) Dry adhesive applications (courtesy Max Planck Institute for Metals Research.3 3. Phil Richardson Fingerprint-free coatings on highly shiny metallised and anodised personal care components (courtesy COSi) Ink-jet printing for displays and biomedical applications (courtesy Philips) Dynamic wetting of porous Teflon surfaces based on lotus leaf (courtesy University of Cambridge) Lotus effect on textiles (courtesy ITV) Coating containing electrostatic particles (courtesy ITV) Composite profiles modelled on plant stems (courtesy ITV) Transparent light transfer inspired by polar bear hair (courtesy ITV/P Poitevin) Aerodynamics application by DaimlerChrysler (courtesy BIOKON. Johannes Schampel (behind).BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix D LIST OF EXHIBITS Exhibit Page Caption 1.17 3. Patrick Poitevin (front).19 3. geckos and sandfish (courtesy BIOKON.2 3. Berlin.8 3.9 3.5 3.18 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 16 16 16 16 17 17 17 18 18 18 19 3.
1 36 38 39 46 57 .6 4.9 4. (b) relaxed Fin ray Spherical array.7 21 22 22 23 23 24 25 Metal trees supporting the roof of Stuttgart Airport (courtesy www.5 4. The cross section contains a ring of longitudinal muscle bundles (LMB) which are enclosed by transverse and circular muscle fibres (TMF and CMF) Endo-Periscope developed by University of Delft in cooperation with Tokyo Institute of Technology ITV’s filter system equipment with the filter tube in the pipe on the right side ITV’s braided bag filter (a) stretched.14 4.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Exhibit Page Caption 4.stuttgart-airport.10 4.1 7 .1 7 .12 4.8 4.3 4.1 32 6.2 4.13 4.1 4.11 4.4 4. 32-channel acoustic camera system for interior use Bionic propeller from EvoLogics GmbH Model of stem structure Technical plant stem developed by University of Freiburg in collaboration with ITV Denkendorf Business development for biomimetic compared to ‘normal’ ideas (after Bannasch) Biology does things differently to human technology Top-down process of biomimetics (courtesy University of Freiburg) Bottom-up process of biomimetics (courtesy University of Freiburg) Map of BIOKON network (courtesy BIOKON) 4.com) Optimum structure for a centrally loaded beam after 10 iterations (courtesy Prof Claus Mattheck) Bionic car concept by DaimlerChrysler Cilium-like plate created by Philips Multiple ‘cilia’ incorporated in a microchannel by Philips Dry adhesives Schematic cross section of the tentacle of the loliginid squid. The tentacle is surrounded by longitudinal and helical muscle layers (LML and HML).15 25 26 26 27 27 28 28 29 5.2 B.
762.93.519 ≈ €0.31.47 ≈ $1. Germany) Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung – limited company helical muscle layer horsepower = 745. Mar 07) voltage difference microlitre = 10-6 L = 10-9 m3 micrometre = 10-6 m three-dimensional Aktiengesellschaft – shareholding company American Society of Mechanical Engineers (USA) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK) Bionik-Kompetenz-Netz – Bionics Competence Network (Germany) Biomimetics Network for Industrial Sustainability (UK) Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung – Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany) computer-aided design centimetre = 0.7 W headquarters . UK) degree of freedom Doctor Doctor of Science Department of Trade and Industry (UK) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK) European Space Agency European Union fax finite element fast-moving consumer good(s) Faraday Packaging Partnership – a specialist applications node of the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network (UK) Gesellschaft zur Förderung angewandter Informatik – Society for the Promotion of Applied Computer Science (Berlin.01 m circular muscle fibre Creative Outsourcing Solutions International chromium Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt – German Environment Foundation Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (MOD.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix E GLOSSARY ~ ≈ % € £ $ ΔV µL µm 3D AG ASME BBSRC BIOKON BIONIS BMBF CAD cm CMF COSi Cr DBU DERA DOF Dr DSc DTI EPSRC ESA EU F FE FMCG FPP GFaI GmbH HML hp HQ 58 approximately approximately equal to per cent euro (€1 ≈ £0.681 ≈ $1. Mar 07) US dollar ($1 ≈ £0. Mar 07) pound sterling (£1 ≈ €1.
001 m3 longitudinal muscle bundle longitudinal muscle layer Limited (company) metre cubic metre mobile (telephone) Materials and Design Exchange (design node of the Materials KTN.BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE IDEA IOM3 IR ITV J kg KTN L LMB LML Ltd m m3 M MADE MBA mm MOD MPI N nm P&G PC PhD R R&D s SiO2 SKO SME T TMF TRIZ TU UK US(A) UV V VDI W Industrial Design Excellence Award Institute of Materials.und Verfahrenstechnik – Institute for Textile Technology and Process Engineering (Denkendorf.001 m Ministry of Defence (UK) Max Planck Institute (Germany) newton – unit of force = 1 kg m/s2 nanometre = 10-9 m Procter & Gamble personal computer Doctor of Philosophy right research and development second silicon dioxide soft kill option small or medium-sized enterprise telephone transverse muscle fibre Teorija Reshenija Izobretatel’skih Zadach – Theory of Inventive Problem Solving Technical University United Kingdom United States (of America) ultraviolet voltage Verein Deutscher Ingenieure – Association of German Engineers watt – unit of power = 1 J/s 59 . UK) Master of Business Administration millimetre = 0. Germany) joule – unit of work or energy = 1 N m = 1 W s kilogram Knowledge Transfer Network (UK) (1) left (2) litre = 0. Minerals and Mining (UK) infrared Institut für Textil.
BIOMIMETICS: STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCT DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE Appendix F ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We would like to thank the following for their help in making this mission such a success: • His Excellency the British Ambassador to the Netherlands. DTI Sarah Woodman. FPP 60 . FCM Travel Charlotte Leiper. Lyn Parker • Professor Rudolf Bannasch • Dr Ingo Klein • Professor Jaap den Toonder • Professor Peter Fratzl • Professor Stanislav Gorb • Dr Ulrike G K Wegst • Dr Dagmar Voigt • Mr Leo Zonneveld • Dr Konrad Götz • Professor Dr C M Jonker • Dr Jules S Scheltes • Dr Thomas Stegmaier • Dr Tom Masselter And a special mention for helping behind the scenes: • • • • Robert Dugon. Pera Sarah Fenn.
from which successful new products. www.gov. college or research organisation that has expertise relevant to your business. The grant is only available in England (the Devolved Administrations have their own initiatives).dti. www. in partnership with a university. engineering and technology. www. normally in the form of a grant or occasionally a loan.gov. www.dti.uk/sflg/pdfs/sflg_booklet.uk/ktn/ Collaborative Research and Development – helps industry and research communities work together on R&D projects in strategically important areas of science. over a period of one to three years. This initiative aims to ensure UK business has access to best business practice information for improved performance. www. www. Specific technology transfer projects are managed.uk/r-d/ The Small Firms Loan Guarantee – is a UKwide.uk/ Knowledge Transfer Networks – aim to improve the UK’s innovation performance through a single national over-arching network in a specific field of technology or business application. tailored support for small and medium-sized businesses to implement best practice business improvements.ktponline.dti.dti. The Grant for Research and Development provides funds for individuals and SMEs to research and develop technologically innovative products and processes.dti.gov.uk/regionalinvestment/ .org.Other DTI products that help UK businesses acquire and exploit new technologies Grant for Research and Development – is available through the nine English Regional Development Agencies.gov.uk/crd/ Access to Best Business Practice – is available through the Business Link network.gov.dti. www. www. processes and services can emerge.gov.gov.uk/bestpractice/ Support to Implement Best Business Practice – offers practical.pdf Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – enable private and public sector research organisations to apply their research knowledge to important business problems.uk/implementbestpractice/ Finance to Encourage Investment in Selected Areas of England – is designed to support businesses looking at the possibility of investing in a designated Assisted Area but needing financial help to realise their plans.dti. A KTN aims to encourage active participation of all networks currently operating in the field and to establish connections with networks in other fields that have common interest. Government-backed scheme that provides guarantees on loans for start-ups and young businesses with viable business propositions.
Printed in the UK on recycled paper with 75% de-inked post-consumer waste content First published in March 2007 by Pera on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry © Crown copyright 2007 URN 07/504 .
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