Procedural Metamaterials: A Unified Procedural Graph for Metamaterial Design


We introduce a compact, intuitive procedural graph representation for cellular metamaterials, which are small-scale, tileable structures that can be architected to exhibit many useful material properties. Because the structures’ “architectures” vary widely—with elements such as beams, thin shells, and solid bulks—it is difficult to explore them using existing representations. Generic approaches like voxel grids are versatile, but it is cumbersome to represent and edit individual structures; architecture-specific approaches address these issues, but are incompatible with one another. By contrast, our procedural graph succinctly represents the construction process for any structure using a simple skeleton annotated with spatially varying thickness. To express the highly constrained triply periodic minimal surfaces (TPMS) in this manner, we present the first fully automated version of the conjugate surface construction method, which allows novices to create complex TPMS from intuitive input. We demonstrate our representation’s expressiveness, accuracy, and compactness by constructing a wide range of established structures and hundreds of novel structures with diverse architectures and material properties. We also conduct a user study to verify our representation’s ease-of-use and ability to expand engineers’ capacity for exploration.

ACM Transactions on Graphics