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New Hub paper on linkage fabrics and their application as programmable materials

Linkage fabrics are gaining in popularity and finding applications in architecture, aerospace, healthcare, and fashion because they can deliver materials with bespoke flexibility and strength through the geometric design of linkage nodes. In this article, we provide a perspective on linkage fabrics as a new class of programmable materials. We describe the theory and design principles of these linkage fabrics and show how they can be designed and simulated using digital tools, and fabricated using 3D printing. This digital approach overcomes a major obstacle to the adoption of these materials, namely their complexity. We show how simulation methods can be verified and calibrated through experimental testing. This perspective article also discusses design-led research challenges for linkage fabrics such as the development of wearable assistive devices for those with physical disabilities.

Paper available here.

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