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Smart Foam Could Grow Furniture “Like Popcorn”

Instead of companies and consumers footing the bill for transporting large or bulky pieces of furniture, one day we could be buying flat-pack furniture made from “smart foam” that can be compressed down to 5% of its original volume.

Belgian designer Carl de Smet uses “shape memory” polyurethane to build his creations, which can then be flattened down to just a small fraction of the original size for shipping and storage.

De Smet is only working with scale models right now, so don’t pull out your wallets just yet, but the BBC reports that he “is close” to building the technology for full sized pieces.

Once they get exposed to the proper temperature, or an electrical current is applied to them, de Smet’s creations expand “like popcorn” until they reach full size.

Take a look:

Saving space in both transportation and storage of large amounts of these types of furniture could potentially yield big savings for consumers, retailers, and manufacturers.

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