Biased Chains

Skylar Tibbits, Neil Gershenfeld, Kenny Cheung, Max Lobovsky, Erik Demaine, Jonathan Bachrach, Jonathan Ward

Biased Chains are prototypic chain structures that encode assembly instructions directly into the material parts and aim at passive self-assembly. The user simply adds each unit, piece-by-piece, orienting them according to the designed linear fold sequence (much like our Ribosome’s decoding of RNA into fold sequences of complex proteins). Next, the user takes the chain and stochastically shakes it, allowing each of the units to click into place. Each unit has a biased direction and is assembled locally based on a globally desired sequence of folds. The folds can be dictated such that they describe any overall geometry from 2D & 3D lines to 3D surfaces and volumes.