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seeni vasan

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What are the basic tools required for doing a Mechanical project related to Biomimicry?

I am studying Mechatronics Engineering & aware of Biomimicry well enough. I’m currently trying to do projects related to Biomimicry in mechanical engineering. I need some advices regarding the basic tools required for doing project in general, like software packages(design & analysis) & books or some other mechanical tools which are almost accessible in India. Also it will pleasant to hear, if any colleges in India doing an active work in Biomimicry Mechanical engineering. Thanks in advance.

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    Nov 1 2013: Hi Seeni,

    the tool-set you need depends on the biomimicry project you choose to work on, so a general advice would even be difficult to experts already working in this field.

    Nature is bursting full with great inspirations about almost anything we can think of. Aerodynamics, fluid dynamics, statics, thermal management, energy production, sensor technology, surface technology , etc and all of this requires different tools for you to work on.

    Yet one tool is necessary for all of them, which is : Observation

    If you already know what you like to study and if your choice is available around you, do your field work first. Get yourself a small field book, start your observation and make your notes and sketches. Observe on several levels. Holistic, macroscopic and even microscopic to get to understand the principles and mechanisms and reasons about natures solution.

    A great professor of mine once told us, that engineers should constantly train their eyes and minds on whatever they see. Trees, bridges, animals, houses, you name it. He encouraged us to put ourself into the position of those 'objects' and to train our feelings of what it takes to be in it. How does forces flow, energy and dependencies, what are closed and open boundaries, etc. And once this feeling has settled, you start breaking down a complex system into smaller ones to get a better and deeper understanding of its details. On biomimicry this works as well and feel free to find your own ways to your understanding of things.

    I once worked on surface coating and texturing technologies to mimic the 'Lotus effect' on metal surfaces in high temperature environments and encountered many technological restrictions in our given technology to generate highly detailed yet robust micro-structures at reasonable costs. Sometimes you got to push technology in order to get whats needed.


    Biomimicry 3.8 Institute
    http://biomimicry.net/about/biomimicry38/institute/
    http://vimeo.com/biomimicry/videos
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      Nov 2 2013: Feeling very happy on your positive reply Lejan, as you told I already became a member in Biomimicry Institute 3.8 & asknature.org around 1 year ago.
      I started to use the databases about the organisms which are given as free open source in asknature.org. I'm regularly getting monthly newsletter from Biomimicry Institute 3.8 and updated with the asknature nuggets videos. I also started to collect documentary videos taken by BBC like NATURETECH, Oceans, etc.,
      I like to mimic structures from an organism or a plant to produce efficient mechanical linkage mechanisms particularly for Industrial machines like CNCs. So for that I learned two software namely
      Designing software - Pro-E Wildfire 4.0
      Analysing software (stress & thermal) - ANSYS
      I recently planned to buy some books Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature - Janine Benyus and Invention and Evolution: Design in Nature and Engineering by French.

      You have told one good point in your message-“Observation”. Observation is a very important thing in Biomimicry. For my field of work in Biomimicry I’m search of tools like some measuring instruments can measure small sizes or cameras for photographing small size structures which are at average cost. Biomimicry in India is not well recognized yet, and so I have to do it more efficiently by using my limited tools well.

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