Page 93

from educational institutions. Jacobs’ database shows 67% of industrial BIDs examined reached the market, compared to 14% of academic BIDs. Industrial solutions can focus directly on creating value for the company and its customers, and this results in a much greater market success rate. It is therefore valuable to observe how businesses conduct biomimicry, and what lessons this approach can provide for academic researchers. Terrapin Bright Green and Harbec Inc., a metal and plastic parts manufacturer based in Ontario, NY, teamed up to apply biomimicry to additively manufactured tools, and this example highlights how industrial and academic bio-inspired projects differ. Harbec uses injection moulding and additive manufacturing to meet customers’ demands. In 2015, they collaborated with Terrapin Bright Green, an environmental strategy consulting firm, and professors from Cornell University and Rochester Institute of Technology to provide biomimetic solutions for heat transfer in additively manufactured injection moulded cavities. Injection moulding heats polymers to a molten state inside shape-forming moulds. Only after the mould has cooled can the part be removed. The process of heating, cooling, and removing the part makes up

one process cycle. The team’s goal was reducing cycle time, and the cooling phase was seen to be a promising area. Cooling often involves circulatory systems, suggesting collaboration with vascular experts. Natural heat dissipation systems were explored and narrowed down to elephant ear vessels, termite mound channels, and vascular structures found in dicot leaves. Selecting the natural model was one of the biggest challenges in Harbec’s work, and digital simulation was used to assess several factors. Dicot leaves contain a main trunk with interconnecting branching channels which carry fluid through the leaf, a model that Harbec could easily manufacture. Keith Schneider of Harbec remarked that, “the mix of academic insights and manufacturing knowledge allowed the biology to be translated into engineering models.” Academics provided expertise in natural systems, but on its own this did not provide a valuable solution. Harbec’s experience with manufacturability and performance allowed the biology to be incorporated into the designs. Ensuring the solution was costeffective and technically realistic was a key project feature for Schneider. He noted that start-ups or early stage projects may need to focus more on manufacturing than they currently do.

Zygote Quarterly 28 | vol 2 | 2020 | ISSN 1927-8314 | Pg 93 of 140

Profile for marjan eggermont

zq28 (zygote quarterly)  

ZQ: Our mission is to establish a credible platform showcasing the nexus of science and design in the field of biologically inspired design,...

zq28 (zygote quarterly)  

ZQ: Our mission is to establish a credible platform showcasing the nexus of science and design in the field of biologically inspired design,...

Profile for eggermont

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded