The next big innovation in fabrication looks an awful lot like your hoodie. Researchers at the Swiss university ETH Zurich recently showed off Zippables, a series of plush objects assembled by zipping up a single, extra-long zipper.
It sounds simple enough, but Zippables is the result of some clever computation that’s able to transform 3D computer models into spiraling flat pieces of fabric that can then be zipped into shape. A zipper is attached to the outer boundary of the laser-cut pieces of fabric that when zipped up take on 3D form.
Building something with Zippables is like having built-in assembly instructions. Instead of using a hammer or wrench to assemble multiple parts, you simply have to tug at the zipper and voila—a bunny appears.
In theory, Zippables is a brilliant way to simplify fabrication for soft objects, but it’s unclear when (or if) you’ll ever really need to build a stuffed star under two minutes. The team says it’s exploring using the technique for installing pipe cladding, which would make the labor-intensive job as easy as pulling up a zipper.
Via: Co Design