Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology used 3D printers to create objects Tensegrity. It is noteworthy that these objects can change shape. We already wrote about the unusual 4D-structures, in this article we will talk about something similar.

What is Tensegrity?

This concept includes a “stretched integrity”. In other words, is a structural principle based on the components which can be compressed as a result of continuous stress. This means that the integrity of the structure depends on the balance of the stretchable elements.

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology applied the principle of Tensegrity to study the possibility of preserving the memory of the shape of polymers. It was necessary to determine whether the disposal of polymers in certain structures when exposed to heat.

The ability to preserve the memory of its shape is often associated with the concept of 4D printing. If you delve into this question, it is not the same thing. Rather, the principle of Tensegrity combined with four-dimensional printing.

Features, advantages and distinctive features

Scientists managed to print a special structure which, when immersed in warm water began to change form. To create objects used polymers are able to preserve the memory of its form. As a technique used in 3D printers. A supporting stand was made of Filaflex material.

Printed structures takes place in warm water so that it is not confused. All the elements begin to change their shape at the same time, so opening the object occurs any. While scientists can fully control the temperature at which the object starts to change shape.

Researchers believe that this method has the potential to create light structures and components for soft robotics. The advantages of Tensegrity objects can be used in Biomedicine. Such structures can be quite durable, but initially take up very little space. The method will probably find extensive use in areas where need to save space.

3-D Printed Tensegrity Objects Capable of Dramatic Shape Change

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a way to use 3-D printers to create objects capable of expanding dramatically that could someday be used in applications ranging from space missions to biomedical devices. The new objects use tensegrity, a structural system of floating rods in compression and cables in continuous tension.


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