Disney Research has come up with a design/fabrication aid sexily named “Mechanical Characterization of Structured Sheet Materials.” What they’ve done is create a variety of lattices based on different isohedral (i.e. tiled) patterns…
…and observed the differences in each pattern’s range of movement when stretched.
They then came up with software that accurately predicts how each pattern will respond to being pulled in different directions or, in geek-speak, each pattern’s “direction-dependent macromechanical behavior.”
Then they created software that can generate the patterns themselves, based on what behavior a designer might desire:
So, working designers among you: Any ideas for applications? Or if you’re a design student looking for something to build a thesis around, I say contact the research team and see if they’ll let you play in their sandbox.