Products and Design

Get Schooled: Featured Student Grant Recipient – New Materials

Are you an undergraduate or grad student pushing the boundaries of 3D-printing technology? Apply now for the Shapeways EDU Grant and you could receive up to $1000 in Shapeways credit to realize your idea. Learn more about the Shapeways EDU Grant and apply at shapeways.com/education

Grant winners Alexandra Ion, Johannes Frohnhofen, Ludwig Wall, Robert Kovacs, Mirela Alistar, Jack Lindsay, Pedro Lopes, Hsiang-Ting Chen, and Patrick Baudisch from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany have recently published the completion of their research on Metamaterial Mechanisms and boy, were we blown away!

To put it succinctly Metamaterial Mechanisms is an exploration of material forms as a way of building a mechanical behavior in to the material structure of a solid object. With this custom-developed software the students were able to generate 3D-printable mechanisms out of what is essentially a solid unit of material. The research group calls them metamaterials but they prefer “to think of them as machines. We demonstrate metamaterial objects that perform a mechanical function. Our metamaterial door latch, for example, transforms the rotary movement of its handle into a linear motion of the latch.”

The software allows “users to place different types of cells, including the shear cell, 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.”

meta material software

 

The research team explained that nothing about this project could have been realized without access to 3D printing. “Being able to experiment with more complex structures printed on Shapeways’ SLS printers helped shape our understanding [of the direction of the project]. This research has taught us that materials can be machines and materials at the same time. Materials can be ‘smarter’ than what we think they can be—without the need of batteries, motors or microchips. ”

Are you an undergraduate or grad student pushing the boundaries of 3D-printing technology? Apply now for the Shapeways EDU Grant and you could receive up to $1000 in Shapeways credit to realize your idea. Learn more about the Shapeways EDU Grant and apply at shapeways.com/education

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