Simple 3D-Printed Metamaterial Mechanisms, that works without any moving parts.
Metamaterial Mechanisms is a research project from the Hasso Plattner Institute, published at UIST 2016.
Recently, researchers started to engineer not only the outer shape of objects, but also their internal microstructure. Such objects, typically based on 3D cell grids, are also known as metamaterials.
Metamaterials are artificial structures with mechanical properties that are defined by their usually repetitive cell patterns, rather than the material they are made of.
The key element behind our metamaterial mechanisms is a specialized type of cell, the only ability of which is to shear.
In order to allow users to create metamaterial mechanisms efficiently we implemented a specialized 3D editor. It allows users to place different types of cells, including the shear cell, thereby allowing users to add mechanical functionality to their objects. To help users verify their designs during editing, our editor allows users to apply forces and simulates how the object deforms in response.
Authors: Alexandra Ion, Johannes Frohnhofen, Ludwig Wall, Robert Kovacs, Mirela Alistar, Jack Lindsay, Pedro Lopes, Hsiang-Ting Chen, and Patrick Baudisch