Manufacturing processes are increasingly versatile, enabling a growing density of functional capabilities for the corresponding products. Yet this route to functionality usually consists in assembling a plethora of components at various scales, resulting in expensive, poorly renewable design. A fresh way to think about this problem consists in questioning the possibility to entangle functionalities in the materials themselves, thus vastly enhancing the efficiency of their usage. Such metamaterials, or "materials by design", are embodied by a class of mechanical systems, like knitted fabric or origamis, whose mechanical response is mainly governed by features other than the base material itself, namely its geometry and/or topology.
As a starting point, we have studied the mechanical response of these two classes of systems, disentangling the role played by the base material and that played by the creases in the case of origamis and by the stitches in the case of a knitted fabrics. It turns out the interplay between these features and the elasticity of the material already results in functional behavior, in particular multi-stability in the case of origamis which can be used to program the shape of a thin shell.
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