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  • Collated Proceedings 2015 - Papers - Blaney et al

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Adaptive materials: utilising additive manufactured scaffolds to control self-organising material aggregation

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Extending existing additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities by incorporating self-organising materials (crystal growth) into a system has the potential to create physical structures, which can adapt and tune material properties. We investigate self-organising structures that can respond to different conditions by adapting their physical properties over time. This opens up new possibilities for various design and engineering domains (structural components, furniture design). Initial experiments with the electrolysis of seawater enable the development of these structures. This technology allows a multi-material system sensitive to altering environmental conditions. Material build-up on various cathode types is analysed. The results reveal different material properties are created by altering the environment conditions (i.e. electrical current) in which the crystals grow. We find that turbulence is required within the system to create adaptive tuneable materials. In addition, the physical properties of the cathode scaffold have significant impact in controlling material properties, resolution and the systems dynamic properties.