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Rational design of reconfigurable prismatic architected materials

Johannes T.B. Overvelde's picture

Advances in fabrication technologies are enabling the production of architected materials with unprecedented properties. Most such materials are characterized by a fixed geometry, but in the design of some materials it is possible to incorporate internal mechanisms capable of reconfiguring their spatial architecture, and in this way to enable tunable functionality. Inspired by the structural diversity and foldability of the prismatic geometries that can be constructed using the snapology origami technique, here we introduce a robust design strategy based on space-filling tessellations of polyhedra to create three-dimensional reconfigurable materials comprising a periodic assembly of rigid plates and elastic hinges. Guided by numerical analysis and physical prototypes, we systematically explore the mobility of the designed structures and identify a wide range of qualitatively different deformations and internal rearrangements. Given that the underlying principles are scale-independent, our strategy can be applied to the design of the next generation of reconfigurable structures and materials, ranging from metre-scale transformable architectures to nanometre-scale tunable photonic systems.

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Overvelde, J. T. B., Weaver, J., Hoberman, C., Bertoldi, K., (2017). Rational Design of Reconfigurable Prismatic Architected Materials. Nature, 541, 347-352.


Sung Hoon Kang's picture

Big congratulations for the very interesting work! 

Cai Shengqiang's picture

Dear Bas, it is a beautiful work! congratulations.


Mike Ciavarella's picture


a Nature paper is always a big success for your career.  Typically they are extremely high quality work.  Not always I found the Nature papers are really crucial in specific fields, because they are aiming at wide audience.  I know for example the paper in friction by Jay Fineberg: very nice experiments, strange results, worth thinking about.  They have generated significant literature trying to be explained.  Yet, I am not sure they really advanced the understanding of friction.

So it would be great if you could elaborate on "metre-scale transformable architectures to nanometre-scale tunable photonic systems".  What exactly?



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