Auxetic Structures are a class of Metamaterials uniquely characterised by their Negative Poissons Ratio, that is when a lateral force is applied they expand longitudinally, becoming thicker and stronger, perpendicular to the strain.
This counterintuitive behaviour has many enhanced behavioural properties, our research has specifically focused on their response to impact forces for sports protection scenarios.
Additive Manufacturing using the Stratasys J750 multimaterial printer allows us to print reactive physical properties of Auxetic Structures, manipulated through generative programming. This parametric customisation of the internal topology, materiality and subsequent 4D printing has the potential for geometries to be uniquely designed for pre-determined impact scenarios.
In order to achieve contextualisation a critical translation process is required. Auxetic theory classifies and describes structural geometry, mechanics and topological restrictions. Digitally CAD modelled geometries for tangible materials testing looks to bridge the gap between computer simulated predictions and physical outcomes of structures adapted through design means for fabrication. Understanding how similar or dissimilar tangible geometry behaviour is to theoretical expectations will allow for new, informed investigations into realistic opportunities for application implementation.
The majority of our focus is spent working in this translation space, parametrically modelling the structures three dimensionally and manufacturing prototyped samples to iteratively test and evaluate for their capabilities of producing the Auxetic effect under strain. Come the end of our research we hope to have used this process to identify structures more likely to succeed in a given context, one step closer to widely deploying Auxetic Structures for enhanced safety protection.
About Brittany Mark
Brittany Mark is an Industrial Design Masters student at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Her current Masters Thesis is focused on digitally translating mechanical Metamaterials into parametric models through generative software, enabling 4D Multimaterial printing and experimentation. All work is supervised by Tim Miller, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Design innovation.