“What if we added holes?”

Make an object porous

Holes can be added to a structure to reduce weight.

Cavity wall construction allows for airflow and drainage.

Foaming can be used to make food texture more pleasing and reduce required ingredients, e.g. meringue, Aero bars, chocolate mousse.

Metals can also be foamed to make lightweight structures.

Porous sponges of various kinds can be used to absorb liquids.

Gore-tex fabric is weaved from a microporous fibre which is about 70% air, allowing it to repel water but release water vapour so that the wearer can be warm and dry.

Hypervent condensation prevention matting is made spun polymer bonded to a breathable fabric layer. It allows moisture to easily escape from under bedding and finds popular use in boats and RVs.

Take advantage of existing porosity

Soldering wick is braided copper wire that can be used to wick away molten solder to permit electrical connections to be removed.

Add antibacterial agents to porous first aid dressings so that they can be applied to a wound to protect and disinfect in one step.

Oilite bearings are formed from powdered metals and have oil injected into their porous structure using vacuum. The end result is a bearing that self-lubricates.

Air is a surprisingly bad conductor of heat, but if allowed to move by wind or convection it can carry heat away. Fiberglass wool is used in bats to insulate buildings, hot water tanks etc, taking advantage of its tendency to pack loosely, holding a thick layer of air in place.

More examples

As I stumble across real world examples of this Inventive Principle in action I add them here.

Your turn

What problems do you face that this inventive principle could help solve? Have you used this principle before?

Photo by Mike Lehmann, Mike Switzerland 12:44, 27 January 2007 (UTC) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons