Temporary forming with Shape-Memory Polymers

Our ongoing research into Shape-Memory Polymers is focused on their potential in temporary form-making and fabrication. At a designed temperature the polymer becomes completely malleable and can be formed into a range of shapes. Once the material drops below this temperature it becomes rigid again and holds whatever shape is given. If the material is heated beyond a given point it will return to the original shape that it was cast in. (In this case it is flat) This experiment uses a small sample of SMP with a tab laser cut out on 3 sides. The goal was to create a simple , custom, robotic arm that could form the rectangular tab into precise shapes. The arm is controlled using a maya animation using previously developed tools. Going forward the goal is to create a system of hundreds of these tabs that can be “posed” into precise patterns over a large area.


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