Lab for Advanced Manufacturing & Bio-inspired Design Approach

Bio-inspired Design

Natural organisms are usually composed of hard and soft materials and covered with hierarchical surface structures, with dimensions spanning from the nanoscale to the macroscale (Fig. a). The intricate surface textures broaden their adaptive capabilities in challenging physical habitats, by managing water, light, predators or parasites in innovative ways.

Inspired from nature, we manufacture multi-material hierarchical surface structures (Fig. b) with cones, wrinkles and nanopores by using a novel approach of 3D printing method. We characterize and experimentally validate the relationship among material properties, manufacturing process parameters and surface structure geometry parameters Upon printing, the effects of the manufacturing parameters and material properties on the printed surface structure geometries, including the printed conical structure height, cone and wrinkle wavelengths, are analytically modeled and experimentally characterized. The hierarchical surface structures are able to change the polymer composite surface wetting behavior from hydrophilic to hydrophobic.