In our latest work published in Science Advances, our group presented an automated system that designs and 3-D prints complex robotic actuators which are optimized according to an enormous number of specifications. We demonstrate the system by fabricating actuators that show different black-and-white images at different angles. One of our actuators portrays a Vincent van Gogh portrait when laid flat and the famous Edvard Munch painting “The Scream” when tiled an angle. We also 3-D printed floating water lilies with petals equipped with arrays of actuators and hinges that fold up in response to magnetic fields run through conductive fluids.
The research paper Topology optimization and 3D printing of multimaterial magnetic actuators and displays was published in Science Advances last Friday, and MIT News covered our story on the same day.