In an announcement that has shocked the various folding communities, researchers at USC Information Sciences Institute have invented a method of folding teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy containers made from polysilicon and gold film. Why is this interesting to Ponoko citizens? The folded shapes are produced from the labyrinthine-monikered process PolyMUMPs (Poly Multi User MEMS Processes) which, at it barest essentials, is an etching process to create very small custom shapes on sheets of material, usually silicon or gold foil. The intent of the researchers is to provide micro structures for drug delivery and it was made possible through the mass customization of a technology originally developed for the creation of microelectronics. With this new technology, I intend to invest in the creation of the world’s smallest folded crane, or a shrink gun; until then, back off!
USC ISI via gizmodo
paper crane image courtesy of Lenore Edman.