Discretely assembled mechanical metamaterials
November 26, 2020 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Versatile building blocks make structures with surprising mechanical properties - "The subunits could be robotically assembled to produce large, complex objects, including cars, robots, or wind turbine blades."

Abstract: "we present a construction system for mechanical metamaterials based on discrete assembly of a finite set of parts, which can be spatially composed for a range of properties such as rigidity, compliance, chirality, and auxetic behavior."

also btw... flexible fixtures previously...
-Flexures, flextures, compliant mechanisms
-The ghost is the machine - simple cybernetics making things move
posted by kliuless (7 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
They should try making them in this shape.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:48 AM on November 26, 2020

sexyrobot, that page immediately took over my screen and tried to infect a virus!
posted by ishmael at 9:20 AM on November 26, 2020

*Infect my computer with a virus*
posted by ishmael at 9:22 AM on November 26, 2020

I love that their car was named TLDR.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:47 AM on November 26, 2020

Look like they'll need some really good glue.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:15 AM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Reminds me of amino acids. The linear sequence of different amino acid's side chain dictates the ultimate 3d structure of a protein. You can even get enzymatic activity.

Of course, this is at a very different scale.

My suspicion is that at a sufficient complexity, it might become susceptible to prion-like effects (mis-folding because the linear protein doesn't follow the right rules anymore).
posted by porpoise at 6:29 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

This is neat!

I'm glad I skimmed the paper a second time before hitting submit on a long-winded critique of the application ideas that assumed there were micron-scale rather than 50-mm-scale. They ordered this stuff from Protolabs! Everyone here could make their own kit for the cost of a dozen sandwiches. Very cool.
posted by eotvos at 2:11 AM on November 27, 2020

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