Exploring hierarchical mechanisms

Imagine a tower build of LEGO, consisting of a number of bricks that together form a new shape. Now imagine that each LEGO brick is a tiny mechanism, in contact with the mechanisms that surround it. What if we can program each individual mechanism with a very simple task, and are able to turn it on or off when we desire. Could we use these tiny mechanisms as cells that create a new, larger mechanism? Can we create a mechanism that is a lawnmower one day, a coffee machine the next, just by switching on or off certain cells?

We want to use the form complexity of 3D printing to create ‘hierarchical mechanisms’, closely related to metamaterials. This is an exploratory assignment, so we are looking for a creative student with an investigative, curious mind. Some inspirational work is shown on this page.

Interested? This assignment is available starting January/February 2021. Contact Kirsten Lussenburg, k.m.lussenburg@tudelft.nl.

Metamaterial mechanisms by Hasso Plattner Institute

Overview ‹ kinetiX — MIT Media Lab
Kinetix Mechanisms by Tangible Media Group

Core Concept: Mechanical metamaterials bend the rules of everyday physics |  PNAS
Textured Mechanical Metamaterials by Yair Shokef’s Research Group