World Science Scholars
1.3 Summary
Large scale construction in engineering includes many components.drop-down
  • Cranes and scaffolding are needed to provide structure.
  • This adds cost in terms of time, human labor, and machinery.

In contrast, in nature a very complex build uses a different paradigm, such as what a spider does when it builds a web.drop-down
  • There are no scaffolds or cranes.
  • In a web, proteins and signals interact with each other.
  • This determines the eventual structure of the web.

During the construction of the web, a spider will eat the prey and digest it.drop-down
  • It will then reorganize the prey it ate and break it down into its elementary amino acid building blocks.
  • It then creates a new protein based on its DNA sequence
  • By this process, it produces different kinds of silks that will be used to build its web.

Spiders can build 2D and 3D webs.drop-down
  • By extracting spider silk filaments, experimentation can be done using spider silk to understand spider construction.
  • Spiders building webs is an inspiration for 3D printing, as the spider can do more things than we can do in engineering.
  • Using a sheet laser and slicing the web into thousands of pieces, webs can be scanned and then the photos used to reconstruct a 3D model.

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