Spongy surfaces. Textured nature and human artefact.

Axel Thallemer, Aleksandar Kostadinov, Fabian Ong, Alex Teo, Abel Fam
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Most surfaces are apparently perceived to be flat, 2-dimensional only, however there is no such thing in the realm of physical objects, because all are 3-dimensional and therefore not at all having an interface which is absolutely smooth. It is all a matter of scaling, which can be purposefully designed by engraving or even generated by additive fabrication methods.

Surface texturing by Laser – either etching or 3D-printing – will be shown on examples down to the optical grating level to create color effects and Moiree-patterns used for product design. Using this applied methodology of functionally designing surfaces, new metamaterials can be created by 3D-modelling core unit modules, which will be curvature continuously stacked to larger arrays of lattice volumes. This application oriented “moulding” of specific material properties allows for pushing the boundaries of known material compounds to new, so far unknown advantages for products in both medical, aerospace and transportation form finding and Industrial Design. The resulting surfaces are textured all the way through the material and can be differentiated as necessary. Because these metamaterials are not solid anymore, most likely these can be manufactured by additive fabrication technologies only. A visual exploration in purposefully designed lattice materials versus solid matter exemplified on spongy matter.