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Creators/Authors contains: "Li, Weichen"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. We envision programmable matters that can alter their physical properties in desirable manners based on user input or autonomous sensing. This vision motivates the pursuit of mechanical metamaterials that interact with the environment in a programmable fashion. However, this has not been systematically achieved for soft metamaterials because of the highly nonlinear deformation and underdevelopment of rational design strategies. Here, we use computational morphogenesis and multimaterial polymer 3D printing to systematically create soft metamaterials with arbitrarily programmable temperature-switchable nonlinear mechanical responses under large deformations. This is made possible by harnessing the distinct glass transition temperatures of different polymers, which, when optimally synthesized, produce local and giant stiffness changes in a controllable manner. Featuring complex geometries, the generated structures and metamaterials exhibit fundamentally different yet programmable nonlinear force-displacement relations and deformation patterns as temperature varies. The rational design and fabrication establish an objective-oriented synthesis of metamaterials with freely tunable thermally adaptive behaviors. This imbues structures and materials with environment-aware intelligence.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 24, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  4. Programming structures to realize any prescribed mechanical response under large deformation is highly desired for various functionalities, such as actuation and energy trapping. Yet, the use of a single material phase and heuristically developed structural patterns leads to restricted design space and potential failure to achieve specific target behaviors. Here, through a free-form inverse design approach, multiple hyperelastic materials with distinct properties are optimally synthesized into composite structures to precisely achieve arbitrary and extreme prescribed responses under large deformations. The digitally synthesized structures exhibit organic shapes and motions with irregular distributions of material phases. Within the structures, different materials play distinct roles yet seamlessly collaborate through sophisticated deformation mechanisms to produce the target behaviors, some of which are unachievable by a single material. While complex in geometry and material heterogeneity, the discovered structures are effectively manufactured via multimaterial fabrication with different polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomers with distinct behaviors and their highly nonlinear responses are physically and accurately realized in experiments. To enhance programmability, the synthesized structures are heteroassembled into architectures that exhibit highly complex yet navigable responses. The proposed synthesis, multimaterial fabrication, and heteroassembly strategy can be utilized to design function-oriented and situation-specific mechanical devices for a wide range of applications. 
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  5. We present a simple, effective, and scalable approach for significantly accelerating the convergence in Topology Optimization simulations. Specifically, treating the design process as a fixed-point iteration, we propose employing a recently developed acceleration technique in which Anderson extrapolation is applied periodically, with simple weighted relaxation used for the remaining steps. Through selected examples in compliance minimization, we show that the proposed approach is able to accelerate the overall simulation several fold, while maintaining the quality of the solution. 
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