Lace rod networks at the intersection of engineering and art

How can art inspire engineering systems? We have been working with bobbin lace and textile artists to find out. Our work is exhibited at the 2021 Joint Mathematics Meetings.

Interlaced bigons from Lauren Dreier on Vimeo.

Inspired by a traditional bobbin lace pattern, ‘torchon ground’, elastic strips are interlaced to create a gradient of out-of-plane behavior. The key structural element is a bigon which consists of two strips deformed so as to intersect each other at a fixed angle at each end. Numerical modeling of each strip as a Kirchhoff rod shows that the 3D shape of a bigon depends on the width-to-thickness ratio of the component strips and the angle between strips. In this sculpture, the strip width and thickness are constant and the angle is varied along one axis. Intersecting twisted pairs in this torchon ground pattern form curved polygon cells with non-vanishing and tunable Gaussian curvature through the coupling of geometry and elasticity.

author: Lauren Dreier and Veronika Irvine

Model: Interlaced bigons 65 x 65 x 5 cm, Leather, edge paint, PET film, PMMA, hardware

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