“3D Cocooner” Bionic Lattice Structures from the Robotic Spinneret

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April 29, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: April 29 on

Whether in the form of a net to catch prey, or a protective cocoon, spiders and caterpillars can create amazing shapes with the help of their spinning threads. With the 3D Cocooner, Festo has developed a bionic technology platform that spins complex and equally stable shapes, which are very similar to these natural structures.In order to convert the soft thread into a solid lattice structure, it is covered with a special resin in the spinneret. As soon as it comes out of the spinneret, a UV light cures the resin-soaked fibre with pinpoint accuracy and hardens it into a sturdy little rod. During the process, the thread can be reset at any point on the lattice structure, where it continues to build. In this way, it is possible to construct even complex shapes in three-dimensional space without any supports.

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