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Could this futuristic inflatable fabric change industrial design?

The fabric, AeroMorph, is the work of MIT’s Media Lab

AeroMorph, an inflatable, flexible fabric, is digitally modeled and fabricated with CNC-milling machines.
Images via MIT Media Lab via Designboom

In the world of textile design, handmade craft is having a renaissance of sorts. But the researchers and developers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Tangible Media Group, part of the school’s future-focused Media Lab, are pushing fabric into the future.

Dubbed aeroMorph, the fabric is made of a composite of paper and plastic, and the prototypes produced thus far by the lab have been digitally modeled and CNC milled to, when inflated, automatically produce the folded, notched, scored, and ribbed shapes seen in a video the group has made public, below.

In the video, Jifeo Ou of Media Lab explains that the implications of the material are far-reaching, including potential applications for packaging, clothing, and more. We also imagine it could present some uses in construction and industrial design, but what exactly that would mean (insulation? seating? inflatable bicycle helmets?) is anyone’s guess.

An origami crane made of aeroMorph fabric.

Via: Designboom