What materials are used in windows that break in movies?

Ever wonder how actors jump through a window but then live to talk about it on late night talk shows? Sometimes they use computer graphics but that's not the only way to create the special effect.

A product called Rubber Glass, lets you create special effects that simulate glass without the inherent dangers. Unlike other transparent plastics, this one breaks with the same spiderweb, shattering pattern as glass.

It uses a polyurethane that enables you to create glass and ice-like objects without the hassles of conventional breakaway plastic products. Unlike other plastics, this product cures at room temperature; once cured, it is odorless and easy to handle. You mix it up and shape it into whatever you need.

Rubber Glass is a non-toxic silicone that simulates broken glass or ice. Once you combine the two bottles, you let it cure to form a soft, clear rubber, and then crumble it. The film Die Another Day used over 1.5 tons of it, and several other films rely on it to create broken glass and ice chips.

Inventables is moving to a new office

Inventables is going through some exciting changes this year. In addition to launching our online store, we're also moving to a new office.

With the launch of our new store, we seek to democratize the practice of materials research, streamline the process of innovation, and inspire everyone—regardless of profession—to explore what’s possible. We believe exploration is a precursor to innovation. In order to create a workspace that embodies that spirit of "Exploring What's Possible", we approached the team at Studio O + A to design our new office.

We found an awesome loft space near the west edge of Chicago's loop and two blocks from Union Station.

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The designers at Studio O + A had a blank canvas to work with. The building is currently being renovated, and it has tall ceilings and a really cool concrete look and feel.

The main focus of our work at Inventables is software development. We're continually improving our website to make it easier for our customers to find materials that can help them build prototypes and products. We designed our main work area to be open and to encourage collaboration, yet one special feature is that the room will not have any phones. This will help keep a quiet work environment and minimize disruptions. We'll have a few pair programming stations and two flat screens that will display the OneTh1ng each team member is doing each day, as well as a dashboard showing real-time analytics from our website using ChartBeat. Each morning, we'll gather around the two flat screens for our stand up meeting.

We also installed a phone booth room and a customer success area where our team can talk on the phone when necessary.

We're really excited about two new areas of the office - the exploration area and the video production room. The exploration area will give guests and members of our team the opportunity to explore what's possible. We are installing some awesome honeycomb shelves designed by Clive Wilkinson to hold and showcase materials we sell on our site. We plan to have a worktable where visitors can build quick prototypes, take pictures of their creations, and share them with future visitors on built-in monitors. We'll hook the monitors up to a flickr photo stream to share their creations with the world. This area will be full of all sorts of things to explore. For now we're going to keep them a secret; you'll have to stop by to experience them for yourself.

Down the hall from the exploration room will be the video production room. This is where we plan to interview innovators in the fields of computer science and product development. When we started thinking about what we wanted out of our space, we realized that our current space wasn't set up to share as much as we'd like. Creating a space specifically designed for interviews will make it possible to invite the best technical minds into our office and help them tell their stories of creation. We hope to peel back the layers of the onion and dig deep into why they do what they do. We hope to hear stories of how they got started, what they explored, and how their work and persistence translated into success.

Another exciting feature of our new office is that the furniture will be easy to move around, making the space convertible. This will make it easier for us to hold events like Ruby meetups, IDSA Chicago meetings and ORD Sessions. During the next two months the space will be transformed, and we're excited to share the progress with you.


At Inventables we believe that it is currently too difficult for artists, innovators, and product  developers to source materials and find solutions for their projects.
I recently found the CORE-Materials OER project and they share our passion. They are working to make a significant number of the many existing learning resources in Materials freely available online. They explain on their site "the resources will be licensed for open use and repurposing worldwide."

They offer a resource page with a number of interesting resources. One that stood out to me was a paper by Prof Claire Davies, School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham where she goes through materials used in sporting goods.

Hat's off to this organization. If you know of other resources for learning about materials tweet it to us! @inventables