loading

A new perspective on tackling sustainable design is to prototype structures that can perform robotically without external energy inputs or programmed electrical mechanisms. By harvesting the potential of naturally responsive materials, and accentuating their original morphological qualities, ecologically embedded architectural structures can be designed in accord with specific climatic conditions.

This modular structure mimics the microscopic structure of butterfly wings. Each module is designed to expand and collapse as it senses different levels of sunlight. The movement was designed in Grasshopper and tested on a physical model using the Arduino plugin for Rhino, Firefly. As the data input changes from the light sensor, the model reacts with movements that contract and expand. A nylon print of the module was made to capture the expanded form.

2013

Step 1:

Sourced SEM (scanning electron microscope) images of the scales on butterfly wings.

Step 2:

From the microscopic structures, patterns are isolated to create arrays of 2D designs in Illustrator.

Step 3:

Once a single pattern is chosen, that design will be modeled in Rhino and baked into the algorithmic modeling plug-in Grasshopper. Using Grasshopper, this basic form will be arrayed in 3D and manipulated to generate the movement of fluttering wings. With the Grasshopper plug-in Firefly, an Arduino can be programmed to control the movements of this computer model through external data inputs such as information relayed from a light sensor.

(download the Grasshopper definition to see the functions)

Step 4:

Front view depicting four stages of movement. This model represents one chain created by arraying and bending the original design.

Step 5:

Perspective view depicting four stages of movement. This model represents one
chain created by arraying and bending the original design.

Step 6:

Top view depicting four stages of movement. This model represents one

chain created by arraying and bending the original design.

Step 7:

Perspective and top view depicting four stages of movement. This model represents one
multiple chains connected and moving together.

Step 8:

3D Nylon print that was produced externally at the 3D Printer experience in Chicago using a Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printer.

Step 9:

Physical prototype of the movement of one chain. Made using individually laser cut acrylic pieces of the basic form, and then just like in the computer model, arrayed to generate a more complex pattern. The model is hooked up to a programed Arduino system and moves using two servos that respond to a light sensor.

Step 10:

Images of the top and front view of two chains.

<p>electron microscopes even make bacteria look beautiful.</p>

About This Instructable

228views

4favorites

License:

Bio: Alice Gong uncovers new ways of meaningful making within contemporary design, art, craft, and technology. Informed by the evolving dynamics between analog, mechanical, and automated ... More »
More by Alice_Gong:Solar Sonnet  BioRoboTecture Matrix Jig 
Add instructable to: