Growing Metal In The Shape You Want

Seattle startup Modumetal has found a way to effectively grow metal parts rather than molding or cutting from larger pieces.


(Conventional metal part on the left, and a metal part grown by startup Modumetal on the right.)

However, Modumetal uses nanotechnology — manipulation of matter at the molecular level — to micromanage at a very small scale to better control the conditions and substances through which electroplating occurs. Basically, the company grows metal on a surface in a way that makes it easier to shape and tinker with the material’s characteristics...

The process creates a metal that is grown layer-by-layer. The different ways to grow the layers creates variety in the metal’s properties and shape. Lomasney says to think about the resulting material like plywood, but the plies, or pieces, are created at the nanotech level.

The industry calls these layered metals “metal laminates,” and they’ve been around in the industry for a while...

It seems to me that Frank Herbert talked about this idea in his monumental 1965 novel Dune; he refers to enormous structures made out of fanmetal, which he describes as a material created by growing jasmium crystals in duraluminum:

Will you look at that thing!" Stilgar whispered. The tall eastern face of the ship glistened in the flat light of the sun, but the shadow side still showed yellow portholes from glowglobes of the night...

It wasn't the lighter that excited Stilgar's awe, Paul knew, but the construction for which the lighter was only the centerpost. A single metal hutment, many stories tall, reached out in a thousand-meter circle from the base of the lighter -- a tent composed of interlocking metal leaves -- the temporary lodging place for five legions of Sardaukar and His Imperial Majesty, the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV...

And the Baron waited [within], glancing left and right at the metal walls of the selamlik, thinking of the monstrous fanmetal tent around him. Such unlimited wealth it represented that even the Baron was awed.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/15/2015)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Materials ")

3D Printed Glass Uses Stereolithography Techniques
'All that with glass...' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.' Larry Niven, 1968.

Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.

Shape-Memory Metal Transforms Millions Of Times
'Annealed in any shape for a time, and codified, the structure of that shape is retained down to the molecules.' - Samuel R. Delany

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'

Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'

Would You Get 'Chipped'? Michigan May Ban Employers
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'

Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
'Jeremiah is a sports-model to begin with and that kind is awfully hot-tempered.'

DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots
'They exist in loose swarms...'

Tether Asteroids To Save Us All
'If anything can glue the asteroids back into the planet they once were, magnology will do it.'

Blaux Your Personal Commuter Cooling Unit
A cooling unit had to be strapped to every commuter's back, by law.

3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'...lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.'

R9X Hellfire Missile With Long Blades Kills Queda Leader
'He was still roaring when the knife missile flicked past him...'

Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.'

Perhaps You Might Be Interested In Habitable Exoplanet Moon Real Estate
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Blurry Face Photos Made 60 Times Sharper
Perfect tool for blade runners.

SpaceX Will Build Floating Spaceports!
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'

Fast Radio Bursts And Space Beacons For Interstellar Navigation
'Every beacon has a code signal as part of its radiation...'

Robot Garbage Trucks Visualized
'It was a bulky, shining cylinder over twenty metres long.'

Clarke Was Right, Artificial Intelligences DO Dream
'Of course you will dream. No one knows why."

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.