Li-Ke Ma's Homepage

Computational Design and Fabrication of Soft Pneumatic Objects with Desired Deformations

SIGGRAPH Asia 2017

(* Joint first authors)

We present an end-to-end solution for design and fabrication of soft pneumatic objects with desired deformations. Given a 3D object with its rest and deformed target shapes, our method automatically optimizes the chamber structure and material distribution inside the object volume so that the fabricated object can deform to all the target deformed poses with controlled air injection. To this end, our method models the object volume with a set of chambers separated by material shells. Each chamber has individual channels connected to the object surface and thus can be separately controlled with a pneumatic system, while the shell is comprised of base material with an embedded frame structure. A two-step algorithm is developed to compute the geometric layout of the chambers and frame structure as well as the material properties of the frame structure from the input. The design results can be fabricated with 3D printing and deformed by a controlled pneumatic system. We validate and demonstrate the efficacy of our method with soft pneumatic objects that have different shapes and deformation behaviors.

Video on YouTube

Video on YouKu