How Origami Could Help Us Reach the Third Dimension in the Micro World


2D Limitations

Things we do with electronics nowadays are amazing. Processors in computers contain billions of transistors, each measuring a few millionth of mm in size. Airbags sensors in cars save lives every day, measuring the sudden deceleration of vehicles and ordering the deployment of pillows at great speed.

Techniques we use to construct these components show an important limitation, however — all fabrication processes are inherently two-dimensional. Micro-technology is tied to photo-lithography which consists on applying a mask on a planar surface, silicon wafers and such, through UV illumination. Machining in the three dimensions is nearly impossible, or limited to expensive techniques. And yet, possibilities of 3D electronics are huge. When transistors approach the size of an atom, it will be soon impossible to shrink them further. Computers won’t get more powerful and hard drives capacities will not increase anymore. Moving to the third dimension can help overcome upcoming difficulties.

Imagine an organized network of transistors or magnetic storage cells. In a two-dimensional flat and organized configuration, one unit can be linked to only four neighbors. Within a cube the number of possible connexions with neighbors increase to six. When considering millions of units the difference in interconnections —> Read More Here


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