Active Textile

The translucent, lightweight, and malleable properties of textiles have been utilized for centuries in architecture, furniture, and apparel design. Typically, stretching fabric onto rigid structural frames requires complex molding and mechanical methods. Our research demonstrates a new method for utilizing textiles that can take advantage of its unique properties while reducing the complexity of forming processes. By printing material in varied layer thicknesses onto stretched textiles we are able to create self-transforming structures that reconfigure into pre-programmed shapes. Programmable textiles open up new possibilities for furniture, product manufacturing, and shipping as well as new methods for self-assembly and user interaction.

Self-Assembly Lab, MIT
Erik Demaine, MIT CSAIL
Autodesk Inc.