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Harvard researchers have developed a reconfigurable structure that looks like a 3D shapeshifting puzzle. They built it from metamaterials – materials whose function is determined by structure, not composition. By scanning close to a million different designs, the model selects the best one for each function. The design strategy is scale independent, which means it can be applied to everything from meter-scale architectures to reconfigurable nanoscale systems (for example, this prototype can be used for building foldable solar panels).

This Shapeshifting Paper Puzzle Could Change The Way We Build Things

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Harvard researchers have developed a reconfigurable structure that looks like a 3D shapeshifting puzzle. They built it from metamaterials – materials whose function is determined by structure, not composition. By scanning close to a million different designs, the model selects the best one for each function. The design strategy is scale independent, which means it can be applied to everything from meter-scale architectures to reconfigurable nanoscale systems (for example, this prototype can be used for building foldable solar panels).