NASA’s new airless titanium tires are almost indestructible

November 27, 2017 by  
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Flat tires and AAA roadside assistance may soon be past memories. NASA Glenn Research engineers have just unveiled a new super-elastic tire constructed from nickel titanium, a shape memory alloy able to flex, conform, and then return to its original shape even after traversing the most punishing of terrains. While this latest invention is part of a larger, half-century-long effort to build a better tire for extra-planetary exploration, NASA engineers and materials scientists note they’ve already been testing a spinoff version for cars and trucks on Earth. The design of NASA’s new tire takes cues from those used for the 1971 Lunar Rover, which was brought to the moon by Apollo 15. Unlike the common pneumatic tire propping up our electric cars , the Lunar Rover’s wheels used flexible wire mesh. Like rubber tires, the wheels could absorb shocks, but the mesh allowed them to “float” over the soft lunar soil (rather than sink into) and it also prevented over-deflection. Related: NASA confirms asteroid came from another solar system – and it’s incredibly bizarre The Lunar Rover design was considered a major success and engineers used it as a model for future wheels that would later carry heavier loads. The tire is actually the basis for the award-winning Spring Tire , “an airless compliant tire that consists of several hundred coiled steel wires woven into a flexible mesh, giving the tires the ability to support high loads while also conforming to the terrain,” writes NASA. Notably, the headline-making Mars Curiosity Rover , which touched down in 2012, uses aluminum wheels. The choice to use aluminum wheels was based on previous missions which forwent mesh tires without much issue. However, given the size and weight of the Curiosity (roughly that of a 4×4) mixed with the rough terrain, the soft metal alloy wheels began showing loose treads and holes after just a year. Not ideal for a vehicle that cost $2.5 billion USD to build. In anticipation of the Mars 2020 launch, engineers and researchers are revisiting the Spring tire, but juicing it up for the red planet. The new tire improves on traction in soft sand, durability, and a reduced overall weight through the use of nickel titanium. The nickel titanium also gives the tires elasticity, as the metal’s shape memory alloys can rearrange at an atomic level to mold to rocks and bumps and then effortlessly snap its original shape. Indeed, tests conducted on simulated Martian terrain showed that the tires returned to form even when warped to the axle. The original Spring tire made of steel wire mesh stretched and deformed under the same conditions over time. The hope is that the new tires will allow rovers to explore greater regions of Mars or the moon for longer periods, carry heavier payloads, and eventually be used on manned exploration vehicles that would move at much higher speeds. On Earth, the tires would mean far less maintenance, no more flats, and a lot less landfill waste. Rubber tires deemed irreparable are ecologically problematic as they are durable, non-biodegradables that contain high levels of heavy metals and other pollutants. Via Gizmodo Images via NASA

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NASA’s new airless titanium tires are almost indestructible

You can rent this cylindrical log cabin on Denmark’s Island of Mn

November 27, 2017 by  
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For those really looking to go off-the-beaten-path without forsaking comfort, the Birkedal home located on the Danish island of Møn is a nature-engulfed paradise. Designed by Copenhagen-based architect Jan Henrik Jansen , the rustic, but sophisticated cabin – made out of nine interconnecting cylinders – is completely clad in thin natural pine logs, creating a seamless connection with the thick forest and meadow that surround the home. Jansen says that the rounded stout design was inspired by the birch tree forests found on the island. He wanted to create a sanctuary in the meadow that would mimic small spruce stumps and blend in with the majestic trees that surround the home. The resulting 990-square-foot house and separate sauna are entirely clad with thin natural pine logs , which contrast nicely with the extra large corten steel window frames that jut out from the exterior. Related: Live in Harmony with Nature in These Super Sexy Tree House Cabins Making up the unique design is nine interconnecting cylindrical volumes that give the home its unique circular shape, inside and out. The interior walls of the home are clad rough-sawn wooden strips and planks, all painted a stark white, giving the home a very contemporary feel. However, the mosaic flooring made up of beach pebbles provides a touch of rustic, earthiness to the design. The curved shapes continue through the interior, where the living area and bedrooms were conceived as cozy cocoon-like individual spaces. Birkedal is one of three island homes designed by Jansen and can be rented through the local site, Urlaubsarchitektur . + Jan Henrik Jansen Via Dwell

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You can rent this cylindrical log cabin on Denmark’s Island of Mn

Blackened timber cottage with solar replaces a decayed brick home

November 27, 2017 by  
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An old and decayed brick house north of Amsterdam has transformed into a modern solar-powered dwelling that stands out from its neighbors, while respecting the local vernacular. Dutch firm Chris Collaris Architects completed the renovated home, cladding the facade and asymmetric gabled roof entirely with blackened pinewood to achieve a minimalist look. Passive solar principles guided the redesign, called House MM, which features black solar panels, high-density insulation, recycled materials, double-sealed windows, and an emphasis on natural lighting. House MM offers a rather limited floor area of 60 square meters, but the redesign of the interior gives it a much more spacious feeling than its brick predecessor. Tall ceilings, white walls, and an abundance of natural light create the illusion of space. Materials salvaged from the old house punctuate the interior, like the repurposed roof tiles and timber flooring seen in the garden and the brick walls found throughout the new home. Related: Rusting 1950s cargo ship transformed into a stunning modern floating home Despite its two-story appearance, the home includes three floors thanks to the addition of a mezzanine . “The roof lines were bound to restricted heights. By cantilevering the lower parts outside the main building volume, the upper level of the house increases,” wrote the architects. “A house with a high ceiling on every floor level and an extra attic is the result of this design feature. The extra win is a dry walk along the North facade while walking underneath the cantilevering roof part towards the entrance.” + Chris Collaris Architects Via ArchDaily Images by Tim van de Velde

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Blackened timber cottage with solar replaces a decayed brick home

BMW reveals bike ‘Hyperloop’ with elevated climate-controlled tubes

November 27, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever tried to commute via bike, you know it can be fraught with danger: doors opening into the bike lane, pedestrians that jump out of nowhere, smog in your face and rain-slick streets. Now picture an elevated tube that lets cyclists move around the city in a safe, climate-controlled, enclosed bicycle superhighway . BMW wants to make it happen. Called the Vision E3 Way and designed in collaboration with Shanghai’s Tongji University , the idea is to create elevated tubes that connect to traffic hubs, shopping areas and underground stations, accessed by a ramp with barriers to control the amount of traffic in the tubes. Any zero-emissions, two-wheeled vehicle is welcome, and the climate would be controlled so you could comfortably commute all year-round. Related: Berlin plans at least 12 new bike superhighways Lighting and climate control would be powered by a rooftop array of solar panels . To encourage car owners to bike, rental stations would be placed throughout the network. The system could not only improve travel for cyclists, but the reduction in traffic congestion and air pollution could make life better for everyone. ‘It’s our Hyperloop ,’ said Markus Seidel, head of the BMW Technology Office China. Via Digital Trends

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BMW reveals bike ‘Hyperloop’ with elevated climate-controlled tubes

Sustainable Fabrics Spotlighted In John Patrick’s ‘L’Avventura’ Collection At New York Fashion Week

September 15, 2013 by  
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Big names and outlandish designs get all the attention at New York Fashion Week, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only styles worth noting. Inspired by the film  L’Avventura ,  a 1960′s Italian drama set in the Mediterranean, designer John Patrick debuted a collection that achieves understated glamour through the use of natural, organic and recycled textiles. Audiences were thrilled to see the Organic designer’s collection of slouchy but sensual dresses, high-waisted circle skirts in wool, and ultrafine recycled cotton-and-nylon knits. See more exclusive coverage of Patrick’s line by following the link below. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco textiles , eco-fashion , Fashion , john patrick , new york fashion week , Organic , sustainable fabrics        

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Sustainable Fabrics Spotlighted In John Patrick’s ‘L’Avventura’ Collection At New York Fashion Week

Enjoy Decadent Pastries Without The Guilt: DIY These Vegan Cronuts!

September 15, 2013 by  
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Have you heard about the latest craze in pastry? It’s called the cronut (cross between a doughnut and a croissant) and it’s taking America by storm. Half sweet fried doughnut and half flaky croissant, these treats are extremely rich, and depending on where you buy them, full of a lot of less than desirable ingredients. But that doesn’t mean you have to go without! We’ve come up with a super simple, completely vegan recipe that will allow you to make these delectable treats right in your own kitchen without screwing up your entire diet. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: baking , cronuts , dessert , DIY , pastry , recipes , sustainable food , vegan baking , vegan cronuts , vegan food        

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Enjoy Decadent Pastries Without The Guilt: DIY These Vegan Cronuts!

Makerbot’s 3D-Printed “Flexible Filament” Dress Wows NY Fashion Week Audience

September 15, 2013 by  
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Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Oscar De La Renta…these are the names we expect to hear at New York Fashion Week, the annual event where top designers trot out the couture designs that will inspire next year’s fashions. This year, however, a decidedly different name could be found making headlines at the glamorous gathering: Makerbot. The leading name in 3D printing partnered with Brooklyn designer  Francis Bitonti  to create a dress using  “Flexible Filament,”  a biodegradable, plant-based fiber that remains pliable even after it’s extruded from the machine. With a suppleness that allows us to wear the finished design, the experimental material could open up a new frontier for 3D printing enthusiasts. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printed , 3D printing , Fashion , makerbot , ny fashion week , wearable technology        

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Makerbot’s 3D-Printed “Flexible Filament” Dress Wows NY Fashion Week Audience

UK Drivers Trade Their Old Cars for New Trees Through the ‘Scrap Car Plant Tree’ Program

January 11, 2013 by  
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Cars accounted for a whopping 21% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the UK in 2009, but a creative new program from Giveacar and Trees for Cities aims to repair some of the damage caused by cars through the use of cars themselves. Scrap Car Plant Tree takes donations of cars and uses the money they get from the scrap or from the car’s auction value to plant trees across the country. Read the rest of UK Drivers Trade Their Old Cars for New Trees Through the ‘Scrap Car Plant Tree’ Program Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beautifying urban areas in the uk by planting trees , car donations in the uk , cars as polluters of the environment , collection and disposal of cars , giveacar , greening the uk , money raised from car donations used to plant trees across the uk , one car donations funding 13 trees , planting and caring for a tree through maturity , planting trees in the uk , scrap car plant tree , trees for cities

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UK Drivers Trade Their Old Cars for New Trees Through the ‘Scrap Car Plant Tree’ Program

Japan Reverses Decision to Eliminate Nuclear Power, Pledges to Turn On Dormant Reactors

January 11, 2013 by  
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In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, countries around the world questioned the value of nuclear power – and Japan, reeling from the impact, vowed to become nuclear-free by 2040. Now, with the tragedy seemingly fading from memory, the newly elected Japanese government has decided to reverse this decision and once again invest in that same energy that is still damaging the Japanese environment . Read the rest of Japan Reverses Decision to Eliminate Nuclear Power, Pledges to Turn On Dormant Reactors Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Fukushima disaster , Fukushima Disaster policy , Japan nuclear phase-out , Japan nuclear reactors , japanese nuclear power , nuclear energy , nuclear power policy

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Japan Reverses Decision to Eliminate Nuclear Power, Pledges to Turn On Dormant Reactors

The Filabot: Desktop Machine Turns Recyclable Plastics Into Filament for 3D Printers

January 11, 2013 by  
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Now that desktop 3D printers are more affordable and compact, the world of DIY fabrication is quickly transforming the way we produce durable goods. Yet the filaments that 3D printers use to assemble objects are expensive – MakerBot’s ABS 1kg plastic filament will run you $50 a spool. Fortunately, Vermont Technical College student Tyler McNaney has invented the Filabot – a machine that allows anyone to make their own 3D printing substrate from old recyclables sitting in the bin. Read the rest of The Filabot: Desktop Machine Turns Recyclable Plastics Into Filament for 3D Printers Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printer , desktop , extrusion , filabot reclaimer , kickstarter , makerbot , makerbot 2x , plastic filament , Recycled Plastic , spool , tyler mcnaney , vermont technical college

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The Filabot: Desktop Machine Turns Recyclable Plastics Into Filament for 3D Printers

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