Inspired by Snapology
Harvard researchers designed a tunable, self actuated 3-D material that was inspired by Snapology. The designs could be used at multiple scales from nanoscale to meter scale. Some day it might be used to pack your house into a backpack or add a new window to a wall with the flick of a switch.
"Reconfigurable devices, whose shape can be drastically altered, are central to expandable shelters, deployable space structures, reversible encapsulation systems and medical tools and robots.
All these applications require structures whose shape can be actively controlled, both for deployment and to conform to the surrounding environment. While most current reconfigurable designs are application specific, here we present a mechanical metamaterial with tunable shape, volume and stiffness. Our approach exploits a simple modular origami-like design consisting of rigid faces and hinges, which are connected to form a periodic structure consisting of extruded cubes."
Cit. nature COMMUNICATIONS: A three-dimensional actuated origami-inspired transformable metamaterial with multiple degrees of freedom
A few more links to sites that deal with this subject:
ResearchGate: Reconfigurable origami-inspired acoustic waveguides
HARVARDgazette: 3-D material changes shape as it prepares for next task
Smithsonian.com: A New Material Could Make Medical Devices That Expand and Collapse
Popular Mechanics: Fold up your house with new versatile shape-shifting material
STYLUS: Self-Adapting Foldable Material
MARKET BUSINSS NEWS: House shape shifts into a wall then a window and fits in a backpack
ENGENEERS AUSTRALIA: House folds up, house folds down
HARVARD SEAS: A toolkit for transformable materials
ScienceDaily: A toolkit for transformable materials