#2038: SkinSchemes

Imagine if cars, planes etc were spray painted in colours which matched the surface stress or fluid velocities which numerical models predict.

Today’s invention is a spraypaint shop with whose robots can interpret the FEA or CFD design imagery for a given model and reproduce those patterns in paint.

The colours used on a given vehicle or other product need not be garish but could come from a restricted palette as chosen by the buyer -thus making one’s car or bike look unique -and ubertechie at the same time.


  1. The stress pattern will be different at different speeds (standstill), why not making the paint stress sensitive => adaptive?

    elaborating on that

    – paint your wheels to see the pressure inside …(deformation of the wheel indicates low pressure => red circle)

    – paint all parts under the hood with a paint that recolors when hotter than touch. (just dots are enough)

    – a glow in the dark paint under the hood for nightly repairs?

    – glow in the dark bumpers! A broken light becomes less fatal (maybe)


    • Hi Rob,
      There are people working on stress-sensitive paint (on bridges etc) and you can certainly buy temperature-sensitive coatings eg for teamugs and postcards…but they tend to be non-durable or too expensive.

      I *REALLY* like the hotter-than-touch idea.

      It’s generally quite interesting that we hide the engine bay in cars -unless they are ‘supercars’. There is all sorts of scope for having the engine bay of the future visible through a transparent bonnet window…and illuminated with different coloured light according to engine speed…?


  2. Pingback:London 2012 Olympic inventions: Rainbolympics | Metro News

Comments are closed