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Alexander Häberlin

20. January 2014

1. From cutting meat to a self tying shoe
I started with the material meat. After analyzing different types of meat and their properties, I looked into the fat and his purposes,  analyzed the structure of the meat and muscles and looked for useful properties. First thinking that I could use the property of fat as an energy saver for something useful, but then realized fast that it wasn't the right way to go. Then focusing more on the muscle and his qualities. And thats were I found my idea.
2. Computational Designs
Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-20 um 19.29.23Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-20 um 19.30.06
Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-20 um 19.29.46Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-20 um 19.29.40
3. First Ideas and Main Concept
As I first looked into the muscle fiber which had quite an interessting cross-section it seemed to be a tube which was filled with smaller tubes and those tubes where filled with even smaller ones.  I thought this could be useful for a solid structure which at the same time could transport liquids and other things. For example in a building to transport the drinking- and the sewerage water, maybe also for electricity and other signal cables. With this System it would not be necessary to built a separate tunnel for all this things and at the same time you would have a stable construction for your building.
Skizze tube A quick sketch how the cross-selection of these "tubes" could look like.
Then I started looking at the function of the muscle its self, which I find quite interesting. With such a simple movement of the muscle (open and close) the entire human body can be controlled. So I started trying to imitate this simple "open and close" movement and was positiv that I would find a good area of application.
skizze muskel skizze lampe
Here I was thinking about the "Sarkomer" of the muscle, it's the part which pulls itself together in the muscle. I was trying to find a function for it.
Then while tying my shoes in the morning a found a really cool function for this mechanism. I thought of a shoe covered in muscles which would tie itself as soon as you slip your foot into it. Obviously I could not use real muscles, but I would have to find something with similar properties.
schuh szizze
My first idea of the shoe covered with muscles.
After quite a bit of research I found a metal called shape memory alloy, also known as Nitinol. It is a nickel/titan alloy which can memories a given shape.
The two obvious shapes were the spring and the zig zag shape. If you pull these shapes apart you can warm them up (best with electricity) and they will move back to there memorized shape and at the same time pull two points together. So perfect for my shoe.
4. Modelling and Fabrication process
A sketch how the bands over the shoe would react.
Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-20 um 19.26.22Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-20 um 19.22.14
3d models made in Cinema 4d and Rhino.
5. Final Outcome
Shoe_1alle 3
A short video of one of my band prototypes which would be rapped around across the shoe: IMG_6963