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.
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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.