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Topology optimization and 3D-printing of multimaterial magnetic actuators and displays

Abstract : Contemporary actuation systems are increasingly required to perform multiple tightly-coupled functions analogous to their natural counterparts; e.g., the ability to control displacements and high-resolution appearance simultaneously is required for mimicking the camouflage seen in cuttlefish. Optimizing and fabricating integrated actuation systems is challenging due to the combined complexity of generating high-dimensional designs, and developing multifunctional materials and their associated fabrication processes. Here we present a complete toolkit consisting of multiobjective topology optimization (for design synthesis) and multimaterial drop-on-demand 3D-printing for fabricating complex actuators ($>10^6$ design dimensions). The actuators consist of soft hinges and rigid plates made of acrylate polymers and a magnetic nanoparticle/polymer composite (MPC) that responds to a magnetic field. The multi-objective topology optimizer assigns materials for individual voxels (volume elements) while simultaneously optimizing for physical deflection and high-resolution visual properties. Our work demonstrates that unifying a topology optimization-based design strategy with a multimaterial fabrication process enables the creation of complex actuators and provides a promising route towards automated, goal-driven fabrication.
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Contributor : Mélina Skouras <>
Submitted on : Friday, December 6, 2019 - 2:14:08 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 12:44:47 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, March 7, 2020 - 3:12:53 PM




Subramanian Sundaram, Mélina Skouras, David Kim, Louise van den Heuvel, Wojciech Matusik. Topology optimization and 3D-printing of multimaterial magnetic actuators and displays. Science Advances , American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2019, 5 (7), pp.1-43. ⟨10.1126/sciadv.aaw1160⟩. ⟨hal-02397188⟩



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