Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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A Whole House in a Small Suitcase

build a house, but don't be in a hurry to move in
  (+7, -8)
(+7, -8)
  [vote for,

The suitcase contains a complete set of lego-like building blocks, and other structural items, which you assemble into a miniature house. You then place this in a large body of de-ionised distilled water, where it sinks to the bottom, then over a period of days swells up to become the size of a regular house.

It does this because the bricks and other items are made out of super-absorbent polymers (SAPs) and they can swell to fifty times their original size in the de-ionised water. (see link)

(note - house not suitable for habitation)

xenzag, Jul 16 2010

super-absorbent polymers http://eht-forum.or...5616&from=home&id=0
a.k.a. SAPs [xenzag, Jul 16 2010]

Dinosaur Eggs http://www.overstoc...852546/product.html
these things get much, much MUCH bigger [Voice, Jul 17 2010]


       How long will it take? Might be good to fool the enemy planes with a decoy "city" where there is none. Also in movie special effects. (of course, depends on cost)
kamathln, Jul 16 2010

       //of course, depends on cost// This is the Halfbakery. Costs mean nothing here. (to me anyway)
xenzag, Jul 16 2010

       Once the house has expanded inside this large body of water, how do you move it? Or do you build a bridge over the moat?   

       The best thing about this is that all you would need for a shrink ray would be something to evaporate the water back out.
RayfordSteele, Jul 16 2010

       //how do you move it?// I think you have to choose your location wisely from the outset.
xenzag, Jul 16 2010

       Does it shrink again in the summer?
Wrongfellow, Jul 16 2010

       How will you get the house out of the water? Why not just make it out of a flexible foam and have a very low pressure vacuum sealer inside the case. The water thing is a bid ridiculous. Besides, when it comes to mobile homes of the future we are all anticipating nanoswarms, nanofog, etc. which will be able to assimilate full amenity structures virtually out of thin air. I get it though, this is a simple remember- those-toys-you-had-as-a-kid type of application. Which is neat, and it exploits us for our nostalgia which is an admirable strategy. Still, []
daseva, Jul 16 2010

       It's a stupid idea, and I shall delete it.
xenzag, Jul 16 2010

       You could make it out of Shrinky-Dink. You'd have to make it lifesize, then bake it, film it, and play the film backwards, but it would work. Kinda.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 16 2010

       [daseva], you had us at "assimilate".
8th of 7, Jul 16 2010

       I'm sorry but I just kept singing "he's got the whole world, in his hands, he's got the whole world, in his hands, he's got the whole world..."), and for some reason that is what this made me think of. ("He's got the little tiny babies, in his hands, he's got the little tiny house, in his hands, he's got the little tiny house and two car garage, in his hands..").
blissmiss, Jul 17 2010

       Could you make the blocks out of super-cooled foam where the cavities are filled with liquid air? Then it would expand as it warms up.
marklar, Jul 17 2010

       Could you soak the blocks one at a time and then build the house with them? It would take a much smaller tank, and no hoist, but all you'd save over normal construction would be a truck to deliver the bricks.   

       The original idea *would* be suitable for making houses if you assembled the model on a slick slab, left the roof off and let rain expand the blocks.   

       Or if you built the tank out of soaked blocks, then took them down to build a wall around the property.
baconbrain, Jul 17 2010

       [blissmiss], "...he's got the whole world in his..." HANDS? I always thought the word was "PANTS." Well, that certainly changes THAT tune for me... little tiny babies the world over are breathing a sigh of relief.   

       [xenzag], brilliant, but be careful about the packaging... you might come to the factory some rainy day and find Venice on the loading dock... bun! [+]
Grogster, Jul 17 2010

       Funny Grogs, funny.
blissmiss, Jul 18 2010


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