Animated Paper

What if you could make paper react on physical input. Maybe you want it to shy away and close up if someone reaches for it too fast, or maybe you want some realistic paper flowers? Moving on to that great first step is Animated Paper, which is simply nitinol memory wire bonded to paper via our favorite tool, duct tape.

Memory wire is first bent to its desired shape, and in order for it to hold that shape it needs to be heated to about 540 degrees Celsius, which is a easy task for a propane torch. Once it has its memory shape the wire can be bent into any shape desired, and when heated to about 70 degrees Celsius will return to its original set shape.

Taped down to a sheet of paper and letting some current from a battery run though it the wire quickly warms up and animates the paper, which could be exactly what one needs in a more artsy robot or electronic display. Join us after the break for a short video.

8 thoughts on “Animated Paper

  1. Really cool! I’ve never played with memory wire before, but now I want some. I’m sure this could have plenty of interesting applications, but the first thing that comes to mind is animatronics. The movement looks so natural.

  2. What about flags waving in no wind at all, without air all together, in space, on the moon. That would be interesting to see… just like E-book readers shaped like books.

  3. Hehe… now this would explain all the traffic :-)

    Thanks for posting about our little project. There should be an update sometime next week and we will be excibiting the final result at an excibit at queens university, kingston in in the first week of april.

    Thanks for the link to the cranes, those are cool :-)

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