3D Printing Optimized Shapes

Chicago, Jamming, physics, shapes, In physics, the concept of “jamming” is defined as a process where granular materials, glasses, foams and other materials become stiff when their density is increased. Now that may sound complicated, but really all it is is the idea that the more stuff you put into a confined space the denser it will become.

The hard part about “jamming” research is defining the shapes that are optimized for the jamming process. At the University of Chicago, Prof. Henrich Jaeger’s lab researchers used “a computer algorithm—referred to as an ‘evolutionary optimization’… to answer this question.”

Once the optimized shape was determined, they turned to their lab’s 3D printer to create hundreds of instances of their test shapes that would soon be squished in their force gauge.

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Image and Video Courtesy of the University of Chicago