A method of producing an integral piece of thermo-sensitive material, which is responsive to a shift in temperature from below to above a phase transformation temperature range to alter the material's condition to a shape-memory condition and move from one position to another. The method is characterized by depositing a thin film of shape-memory material, such as Nickel titanium (Ni-Ti) onto a substrate by vacuum deposition process such that the alloy exhibits an amorphous non-crystalline structure. The coated substrate is then annealed in a vacuum or in the presence of an inert atmosphere at a selected temperature, time and cool down rate to produce an ordered, partially disordered or fully disordered BCC structure such that the alloy undergoes thermoelastic, martinsetic phase transformation in response to alteration in temperature to pass from a martinsetic phase when at a temperature below a phase transformation range and capable of a high level of recoverable strain to a parent austenitic phase in a memory shape when at a temperature above the phase transformation range.
Also disclosed are actuator devices employing "shape-memory material" actuators that deform from a set shape toward an original shape when subjected to a critical temperature level after having been initially deformed from the original shape into the set shape while at a lower temperature. The actuators are mechanically coupled to one or more movable elements such that the temperature-induce deformation of the actuators exerts a force or generates a motion of the mechanical element(s).