November 2020
Vol 6, Issue 47

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Mechanical metamaterials, which offer properties that naturally occurring materials do not, are typically produced as continuous, monolithic structures through additive manufacturing (3D printing). However, this approach comes with process and machine-related constraints. To overcome these issues, Jenett et al. developed a novel system for building mechanical metamaterials in which separate parts are assembled into one coherent structure with a desired continuum of properties. The behavior of the entire product is determined by local mechanisms within its modular parts, each having their own range of properties such as rigidity, compliance, chirality, and auxetic behavior. This low-cost approach may provide a scalable way to produce materials with unique properties, which the authors conclude may enable advances in technologies for soft robotics, responsive aero and hydrodynamic structures, and user-defined programmable materials. [CREDIT: BENJAMIN JENETT, MIT]