1. Wonder
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What will wonder do next?

3M using wonder to apply science to life

  • Forty years of discovery. Zero stops to refuel.

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of the world’s most-traveled and longest-lived spacecraft, NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2. Each probe has traveled more than 10 billion miles since without a stop for refueling. How is that possible? NASA turned to 3M 40 years ago with that very challenge: build a battery to help explore the outer reaches of space.

    Enter Bob Elm, a 3M engineer and self-described “tinkerer.” At the time Bob was working with a 3M material called telluride and wondered if that would solve the problem. And the atomic battery was born, known as SNAP III (Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power). This earned Bob a trip to meet President Eisenhower and helped make possible the exploration our solar system and beyond.

    Since then, the technology has been used in 23 space systems, including the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Packages; Pioneers 10 and 11; Viking Landers 1 and 2; Voyagers 1 and 2; Galileo; Ulysses; and Cassini. That’s quite a resume. What will it help discover next?


  • What does your smart phone owe the overhead projector?

    Have you ever wondered what cell phones, vaccinations, and road signs have in common? The overhead projector. Yes, that’s right, that machine that put you to sleep during algebra.

    Well, technically it’s the lens inside of the projector. It’s called the Fresnel lens and was invented by 3M using a technology we call “microreplication.” It’s a clever way to replicate thousands of microscopic shapes onto every square inch of a surface in unending uniformity. This very technology has helped advance cell phone displays, the reflectivity of road signs, and even improved how vaccinations are administered. Cool, right? We agree. And at 3M, we continue to wonder what we might use it for next.


  • Sticking together: Five “wonder”ful ways science secures your world

    You might know us as the Scotch® Tape people. Ok, we admit it: we’re nerds about “tape,” but that’s because we’ve seen and experienced what amazing things it can do— helping to make life safer, more beautiful and even more fun. Adhesives don’t just have the strength to bind two objects together, but the power to help people imagine and create – to let their curiosity become reality. And we think that’s cool. Here are five unique ways “sticky” solves problems:

    1. Eliminating the need for screws inside your smart phone, making it stronger, lighter and more durable
    2. Holding many different parts of airplanes, automobiles and even trains together
    3. Securing medical dressings that are gentle enough for human skin while sealing out water, dirt and germs
    4. Adhering dental restoratives to the natural tooth structure to keep those smiles bright
    5. Bonding 145-pound panels to the spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall, in place of welds, screws or rivets


Supporting wonder and its impact now and into the future

  • Imagine a world where every life is improved.

    Where natural resources are reliably available, people have access to education, and communities are safe, healthy and thriving. At 3M, we aim to make that a reality.

    The world is facing many global challenges. Raw material shortages. Pollution. Energy crunch. The list goes on. Find out how 3M can help.

    Download the 3M Asia Sustainability Brochure.

  • How do films help light up the night with a kaleidoscope of colors?

    Every year in August, the Singapore Night Festival brings a dazzling array of theater, dance, music and art programs to The Lion City.

    One of the many captivating performances for this year’s 600,000 attendees in 2017 was a kaleidoscopic, interactive light installation designed and built by LiteWerkz, a group of 10 students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design, using 3M™ Radiant Light Film and 3M™ Fasara™ Film.

    Titled “Tessellations of Time,” the installation comprised 10 prismatic pods of varying sizes that combined the 3M films to bend and reflect light waves. Watch the video to see how the installation came alive.

    Find out more about 3M's architectural design solutions here

  • What will they think of next?

    They say youth is wasted on the young, but these kids are putting their youthful energy to good use, asking the right questions bringing innovations to address issues such as urbanization challenges.

    If you’re looking to be inspired by the curiosity of the next generation, we know some kids who have it in great supply.

    Find out about how 3M inspires our next generation of scientists and engineers in Singapore.

    Learn about the winning solution that is helping solve the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

    Meet the 2017 Top Young Scientist in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

  • How can we step up for those in need?

    The secret to helping others is sometimes as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
    20 million times.

    That’s what 3M Singapore and the South East Community Development Council have achieved in the the 3M Step-up Challenge @ South East. First launched in 2013, the annual Challenge encourages residents, students and corporate employees to climb stairs for the needy, and keep fit at the same time.

    30,000 participants stepped up in 65 Step-up roadshows in 2017. The result? S$160,000 worth of 3M household products was donated to 4,000 needy families and elderly in the South East District.

    Find out more about the Challenge here

More wonder from around 3M

  • Always asking “what if”

    At 3M, you’ll find 91,000 curious people filled with wonder, working to apply science to life, advancing every company, enhancing every home and improving every life.

  • A child-like approach

    We’re born with an amazing capacity to wonder. We poke things, bend things, take them apart, and imagine them a million different ways. “No” doesn’t exist when you’re curious like a child. Just possibilities.

  • 3M in your everyday

    Our wonder doesn’t stop at Post-it® Notes. It touches nearly every part of your life. The results can be found in safer food. Safer Roads. In cleaner cities. Cleaner hospitals. Cleaner air, power and so much more.

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