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Mesostructured Cellular Materials: Early Prototypes

by AndreasBastian, published

Mesostructured Cellular Materials: Early Prototypes by AndreasBastian Apr 7, 2014

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These structures are about deformation, flexibility, and form and explore the relationship between innate material properties and bulk mechanical properties through intentional structuring of the material. This deliberate design of the material gives it unique properties, two of which are especially interesting: synclastic bending and auxetic behavior. Synclastic materials have the fascinating ability to assume compound curvature along two (often orthogonal) directions
(see here for a basic illustration of synclastic bending). One can wrap a sphere easily in a synclastic material without folding it whereas attempting the same with an anticlastic material, such as paper, would require numerous folds. Auxetic behavior is found in materials with a negative Poission's ratio, which relates the deformation in one direction when the material is stressed in a perpendicular direction (See here for an illustration). When compressed in one direction, auxetic materials contract in the other, and when stretched, they expand. In other words, an auxetic nail would become narrowed as it was hammered into a board and expand in diameter when pulled out of the board. In addition to their compelling mechanical properties, these mesostructured materials diffuse light nicely and pleasantly pattern-rich. I am exploring applications of the material as both a composite core and for use in light fixtures and furniture.

More background on these structures can be found on my blog.


These print well on the Makerbot Replicator 2 using "Standard" and "Low" slice settings. Backlash can be a problem for the finer structures. Note also that unless your slicer has case handling for thin walls, you will not be able to print some of these geometries. Makerware does handle thin walls, so Makerbot users should be fine.

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Printed both types (triangular and square celled) and neither are auxetic. Compression in vertical direction has no noticeable influence on horizontal direction. Poisson ratio ~ 0. It is capable of supporting positive and negative curvature though. Triangular cell structure breaks more easily from printing unfortunately.

Made this on Zortrax M200. It filled the spaces in between the little "squiggly" parts. I scaled it up by 50% as well. Any advice? This looks cool for fabric applications and I want to use it!!!

The rectilinear one worked. I still want to print the other one (rhombus).

My Cura slicer will not slice. The estimated print time said 0 minutes. I clicked print anyway and it went down to begin printing and then it just came back up again. Please help! (I really want to print this)

Trust me some of these files can not slice after you open it in Cura I even tried Repetier-Host but can not Slice them. rev-3-large-patch specially is my favorite one I can do nothing. Please let me know. thanks

Make them larger. It worked for me on Cura.

could you make this customizable? Maybe create an SCAD file for it?

User sethmoser beat me to the punch with a really great customizer: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:304177. Check it out!

Mesostructured Cellular Materials Generator: Customizable version of AndreasBastian's prototypes

Soon to be leaving thingiverse because of Makerbot's behavior towards open source.
Details: http://www.fabbaloo.com/blog/2014/5/25/has-makerbot-crossed-the-line-for-some-yeshttp://www.fabbaloo.com/blog/2...

Has anyone sliced this with Slic3r (latest 1.1.2-dev) with a good GCODE output? Mine slices, but the extruder pattern is strange and whips all over the place horizontally across the model after it prints a little bit. It seems to be filling in little vertices etc.. I print all sorts of other stuff just fine. This one, instead of the nozzle just following the lines, it also has the head moving in long straight lines from one side to the other. Which rips up the delicate first layer. Plus the long sideways movements are unnecessary. Thanks for any help.

Wow, this is awesome. It sliced okay for me - hopefully it will print (warming up as a type this.) So what was the design process for this - and how did you create the model? It seems like something that would be very difficult to do with most cad packages.

What settings for KISSlicer?

These things are marvelous, but...
I use SLic3r 1.0 on Win7. The rectilinear pattern slices fine. The sparse pattern hangs Slic3r during the "perimeters" pass. The process status in Win's task manager looks like it's doing something, but it never progresses - even after 12 hours, even after I reduced the pattern to 1 layer. KISSlicer handled the full pattern in a couple of minutes, though it wasn't tuned to my printer so I didn't try to print it.

The latest experimental Slic3r can do it now!

Looks really cool, but I can't get it to slice in MakerBot Desktop for the 5th Gen Replicator.

Delighted to see this, it reminds me of amorphous materials. Have you all known about Stanford Ovshinsky? Great designs!

Can someone possibly cut this in half to fit on a smaller printer?

Hey, I've managed to create a similar kind of structure in Grasshopper so I can now design surfaces with the material. I'm just wondering, how do you work with this concept?

This is fantastic! How did you come up with the pattern?

This is a really good design to help calibrate the Z endstop. If you are too close, the bead will overflow a little into the adjacent structures and it doesn't work. It looks good when you have it well calibrated though.

All this beauty and scientifically beautiful in here and someone has to talk about calibration hihi :)

haha good one :D

Very Cool. I would love to see how it looks for real but I can't get it to slice with slic3r . I ran it thru netfab first. Any one have any suggestions?

This is giving me so many ideas.
I am curious, what did you use to model this?
I could probably generate a similar pattern in Illustrator and simply extrude it in any modeling program, but I'm wondering if you used simulation or genetic algorithms to create the pattern. I'll read your blog post but a TL;DR would be helpful for those of us already in the game. :)
Thanks for the great work.

Great design - very cool to play around with and worked great on my Makerbot Replicator 2

One of the coolest things I've seen in a while. Would be interesting to see how the structures behave when scaled up to building size.

Brilliant! Won't slice properly in Cura though not sure why

Need to scale it up until the wall thickness is roughly 2x your nozzle diameter. Printing my second one from Cura now, definitely very sweet.

Ahh thank you didn't think of that will try again!

It would not print on an Afinia. Wall thicknesses less than about 0.03 inches are invisible to the software. This one clocks in at ~0.39mm or 15 thousandths (0.015) of an inch. I used the

It would not print on an Afinia. Wall thicknesses less than about 0.03 inches are invisible to the software. This pattern's thickness clocks in at ~0.39mm or 15 thousandths (0.0015) of an inch.
I chose the "large patch" STL. And yes it was way too wide for the Afinia platform. But in for a penny, in for a pound...So, I embedded around half of it in a 1.01mm tall cube and then shrunk the cube's width to almost nothing (with Blender).

Lock him in a room with no light, food or water and this is the kind of stuff he will produce !!!!

Hey Andreas, this is really cool!