Mesomatters - design, manufacture and interact with architected mesoscopic materials
Program in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
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Between traditional industrial design, which operates at the macro scale (cm to m), and material engineering, which operates at the micro/nano scale ([mu]m to nm), is the emerging design space of the mesoscale. While the definition of mesoscale varies across disciplines, mesoscale materials are usually considered to be in between the molecular and macroscopic length scale. It is the scale of human hair or a grain of sand. It is the scale where material properties meet human perception, and the rational meets intuition. In the past 10 years, additive manufacturing, especially 3D printing, has enabled designers to directly manipulate geometries at this scale. Yet existing design and manufacturing approach have not been able to unleash the full potential of mesoscale materials for the design world. This thesis proposes computational tools and an additive manufacturing apparatus to enable the creation and fabrication of materials at the mesoscale.The ability to programmably assemble materials with tailored structures at the centimeter, millimeter, and micrometer length scales enables tunable mechanical and electrical properties. Those properties determine not only the static performance, but also, when energized, the dynamic behavior of a material. The emerging material performance and behavior allows us to design unprecedented objects and environments with input (sensing) and output (actuation) capabilities, which can be integrated for the next generation of interaction design. I first introduces three translations to bridge a material's microscopic properties with macroscopic interface design. Four research projects (bioLogic, KinetiX, SensorKnit, and Cilllia) are presented to embody the translation. I then propose an implementation workflow for additive manufacturing of mesoscopic materials. The implementation will be presented based on my ongoing research project Cilllia, 3D printed functional hair structures.Cilllia investigates a scalable digital representation of hierarchical tunable materials, a CAD software interface for material design, and a DLP-based 3D printer that allows for continuous material production. The tools for creating Cilllia can be expanded to other types of architected mesoscale materials. Four examples will be presented. Together, they support the vision of a general digital description and physical production system for architected mesoscale materials.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2019Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 136-139).
DepartmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Media Arts and Sciences