Self-Assembly Lab, Christophe Guberan, Erik Demaine, Carbitex LLC, Autodesk Inc.
Programmable Materials consist of material compositions that are designed to become highly dynamic in form and function, yet they are as cost-effective as traditional materials, easily fabricated and capable of flat-pack shipping and self-assembly. These new materials include: self-transforming carbon fiber, printed wood grain, custom textile composites and other rubbers/plastics, which offer unprecedented capabilities including programmable actuation, sensing and self-transformation, from a simple material.
Nearly every industry has long desired smarter materials and robotic-like transformation from apparel, architecture, product design and manufacturing to aerospace and automotive industries. However, these capabilities have often required expensive, error-prone and complex electromechanical devices (motors, sensors, electronics), bulky components, power consumption (batteries or electricity) and difficult assembly processes. These constraints have made it difficult to efficiently produce dynamic systems, higher-performing machines and more adaptive products, until now. Our goal is true material robotics or robots without robots.
A number of recent technologies have been brought together to enable a breakthrough in material performance. These technologies include: multi-material 3D/4D printing, advances in materials science and new capabilities in simulation/optimization software. These capabilities have now made it possible to fully program a wide range of materials to change shape, appearance or other property, on demand.
Self-Assembly Lab Team: Skylar Tibbits, Athina Papadopoulou, Carrie McKnelly, Christopher Martin, Filipe Campos