Traditional wood-bending techniques require complex steaming equipment, labor-intensive forming processes, and a high degree of expertise. In addition, the natural pattern of wood grain and its physical properties make it difficult to curve into complex shapes. Novel printing and composite material technologies can now overcome prior limitations of wood forming. Flat sheets of custom printed wood composite can be designed to self-transform in controlled and unique ways. While the lab has used water as a medium for activation, we imagine that we can also create wooden composites that radically adapt to extreme environmental conditions.
Self-Assembly Lab, MIT
Erik Demaine, MIT CSAIL