Mother nature has always been the ultimate inspiration for engineering innovation and design. The common examples: the aerospace industry designing wings like birds for the most efficient evolutionary aerodynamics. The bullet train inspired by kingfisher birds diving silently into water for the quietest trains around the world. Wind turbine site location patterns mimicking schools of fish swimming for optimum drag reduction patterns. One of the first examples is the Velcro, inspired by the burr plant hooks stuck to a Swiss engineer’s (George de Mestral) pants on a hiking trip.
NM Laser’s technology has also been inspired by mother nature for the highest reliability and lifetime on laser shutter and optical shutter products. In its simplest form, mother nature use of cantilever beams have proven to be long lasting in forests full of trees, thousands of years old. Similar to mother nature, NM Laser’s cantilever spring technology has proven in life-tests to operate billions of cycles without any performance changes. Another major lesson learned from nature’s engineering is the ability to design for scalability from miniature to grand sizes. A cantilever beam design can be scaled from a grass blade level to a forest size tree. Laser shutters similarly can be scaled down to miniature aperture sizes for high speed / high repetition rate operation or scaled to large apertures used for material processing or astronomy.
Mother nature has proven itself to be the most experienced engineering team with millions of years of experience and trial/error under its belt. Future technologies will continue to be inspired by nature. Autonomous vehicles inspired by movement of ant colonies with minimum traffic patterns, visual artificial intelligence (AI) inspired by animals like bats using echolocation to map out an environment.
Author: NM Laser Engineering Team
February 25, 2021