GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski
Since resources are expensive, it can be helpful to see the environment around your product as a source of inexpensive resources that can be modified to perform useful functions. Here are some examples.
Gravity is a force you can use to do your bidding. Since gravity is always oriented toward the center of the earth, if you change the orientation of an object, you change the direction gravity exerts itself relative to the object. If you flip the object upside down, gravity will push instead of pull.
And it’s the same for buoyancy but in reverse. If you submerge an object of interest in water and add air (bubbles) from below, the bubbles will rise and push in areas where the bubbles collect. If you flip over the object, the bubbles will collect in different areas and push in the opposite direction relative to the object.
And if you have water and bubbles, you have a delivery system. Add a special substance to the air which will collect at the interface between the water and air and the bubbles will deliver it northward.
If you have motion, you also have wind resistance or drag force (but not in deep space). To create more force, increase speed or increase the area that interacts with the moving air. To change the direction of the force relative to the object, change the orientation of the object relative to the direction of motion.
If you have water, you can also have ice. If you need a solid substance look to the water. Flow water over the surface of interest and pull out heat (cool) where you want the ice to form. With this method, you can create a protective coating that can regrow as it gets worn off.
If you have water, you can make ice to create force. Drill a blind hole in a piece of a brittle material (granite), fill the hole with water, and freeze the water by cooling the granite (or leave it outside in the winter). When the water freezes it will expand, push on the granite and break it.
These are some contrived examples, but I hope they help you see a whole new set of free resources you can use to make your magic.
Thank you, VF.
Image credit: Pixabay
Sign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.