Research at the intersection of science, application, and design
Our research sits at the intersection of Additive Manufacturing, Architected Materials, and Computational Design. We develop fabrication processes that enhance structural complexity, material versatility, and throughput speed in 3D printing. We employ modern computational tools, such as numerical modeling, mathematical optimization, and machine learning, but also use human creativity and bio-inspiration to systematically explore the design space. The results are (meta)materials, structures, and processes with outstanding properties and novel functionality.
In the past, this allowed us to precisely control the fiber-alignment in composite materials; to fabricate lightweight structures that overcome the mutual exclusivity between strength and toughness; to design smart textiles that autonomously adapt to changes in the environment; to build active lattices that can seamlessly switch from hard to soft; and to manufacture soft robotic walkers that achieve record-breaking speeds when crawling off the print platform -- among many other examples. Occasionally, we let our passion and excitement lead us into uncharted areas out of our comfort zone, for example, to explore how an African bird can transport water over tens of miles to their young. Our work has been published in high-impact journals like Advanced Materials, PNAS, and Nature, and received worldwide interest from several media outlets, including The Boston Globe, The Times, TechCrunch, Forbes, New Scientist, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, NBC, and BBC.
In the future, we will continue this direction and draw even more from the symbiosis of the often-decoupled research areas. We are further interested in utilizing our capabilities and achievements to advance – and utilize – state-of-the-art technologies for social good. Towards this goal, we recently secured funding for our project Next-Generation Prosthetics: Towards the end of disability via digital fabrication and are excited to take this field to the next level.
Make sure to also check out our Featured Projects below and our Publications section for more information!