Jack Forman & Cedric Honnet

MetaSense: Integrating Sensing Capabilities into Mechanical Metamaterial.

J. Gong*, O. Seow*, C. Honnet*, J. Forman, S. Mueller


In this project, we present a method to integrate sensing capabilities into 3D printable metamaterial structures comprised of cells, which enables the creation of monolithic input devices for HCI.

We accomplish this by converting select opposing cell walls within the metamaterial device into electrodes, thereby creating capacitive sensors. When a user interacts with the object and applies a force, the distance and overlapping area between opposing cell walls change, resulting in a measurable capacitance variation. 

Our applications show that designers can create metamaterial devices that sense various interactions, including sensing acceleration, binary state, shear, and magnitude and direction of applied force. 



The conductive cell walls of MetaSense objects act as capacitance sensors to detect user interaction. In the following figure, a Metasense joystick is shown in (a) original state and (b,c) deformed states during user interaction with capacitance changes of conductive shear cells detected accordingly.

Design & Fabrication

Creating a model in the MetaSense 3D editor:
(a,b): adding non-conductive, structural cells;
(c,d) converting structural cells to conductive cells using the edit tool.

Application Examples

The MetaSense fabrication was performed at the Center for Bits and Atoms, their expertise and financial contributions were essential for this project.

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