Directing self-assembly to grow adaptive physical structures

Blaney, Adam and Dunn, Nicholas Simon and Alexander, Jason Mark and Richards, Daniel and Rennie, Allan Edward Watson and Anwar, Jamshed (2017) Directing self-assembly to grow adaptive physical structures. International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing, 6 (2-3). pp. 114-133. ISSN 1757-8817

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Additive manufacturing technologies offer exciting opportunities to rethink the process of designing and fabricating physical structures. This paper outlines initial work that seeks to extend existing AM capabilities, creating physically adaptive structures by exploiting processes of self-assembling materials. The paper details an investigation of self-assembling structures that can respond to different conditions by adapting their physical properties over time. The process uses electrolysis of seawater to demonstrate a proof-of concept of tuneable material structures, via crystal growth. Results demonstrate an aggregation-based multi-material system that is sensitive to changing environmental conditions. Material properties of grown structures have been analysed and illustrate that different materials can be created from an abundant base material (seawater) by manipulating environmental conditions (i.e. electrical current). It is found that turbulence is a useful property within these kinds of systems and that the physical properties of cathode scaffold structures have a significant impact in controlling material properties and resolution.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing
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Copyright © 2017 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
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Deposited On:
30 Jan 2017 13:26
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 02:01