Programming flat-to-synclastic reconfiguration

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Advances in architectural geometry make free-form architecture explicitly definable and economically manufacturable. Enhancing the efficiency of fabrication, this research investigates strategies of translating free-form synclastic surfaces to flat pre-programmed reconfigurable mechanisms. The presented bi-stable mechanisms are produced by creating voids on flat materials. In such mechanisms, the generated blocks are outlined by the voids that are connected by the hinges. The position and the orientation of the hinges allow the blocks to rotate around each other, and then reconfigure from flat to synclastic. During the reconfiguration process, the blocks are temporarily deformed. As the elasticity brings the blocks back to the original dimensions, the materials reach the second stable states. Distribution of hinges on the flattened surface needs to be designed according to certain geometric constraints. This paper demonstrates the workflow of identifying the positions of the hinges. The developed methods are validated through prototypes such as a spherical surface and a free-form synclastic surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-79
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Auxetic mechanism
  • Bi-stable mechanism
  • Discrete differential geometry
  • Flat-to-curved reconfiguration
  • Programmable material

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