Mechanical Characterization of Structured Sheet Materials


We propose a comprehensive approach to characterizing the mechanical properties of structured sheet materials, i.e., planar rod networks whose mechanics and aesthetics are inextricably linked.

July 30, 2018



Christian Schumacher (Disney Research/ETH Joint PhD)

Steve Marschner (Cornell University)

Markus Gross (Disney Research/ETH Zurich)

Bernhard Thomaszewski (Université de Montréal)



We establish a connection between the complex mesoscopic deformation behavior of such structures and their macroscopic elastic properties through numerical homogenization. Our approach leverages 3D Kirchhoff rod simulation in order to capture nonlinear effects for both in-plane and bending deformations. We apply our method to different families of structures based on isohedral tilings— a simple yet extensive and aesthetically interesting group of space-filling patterns. We show that these tilings admit a wide range of material properties, and our homogenization approach allows us to create concise and intuitive descriptions of a material’s direction-dependent macromechanical behavior that are easy to communicate even to non-experts.

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