Flectofold—a biomimetic compliant shading device for complex free form facades

  title={Flectofold—a biomimetic compliant shading device for complex free form facades},
  author={Axel K{\"o}rner and Larissa Born and Anja Mader and Renate Sachse and Saman Saffarian and Anna Sofia Westermeier and Simon Poppinga and Manfred Bischoff and G{\"o}tz Theodor Gresser and Markus Milwich and Thomas Speck and Jan Knippers},
  journal={Smart Materials and Structures},
Smart and adaptive outer façade shading systems are of high interest in modern architecture. For long lasting and reliable systems, the abandonment of hinges which often fail due to mechanical wear during repetitive use is of particular importance. Drawing inspiration from the hinge-less motion of the underwater snap-trap of the carnivorous waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa), the compliant façade shading device Flectofold was developed. Based on computational simulations of the biological… 

Biomimetic Kinetic Shading Facade Inspired by Tree Morphology for Improving Occupant’s Daylight Performance

The comprehensive annual climate-based metrics and luminance-based metric simulation confirm the high performance of the bio-inspired complex kinetic facade for improving occupants’ daylight performance and preventing visual discomfort in comparison with the simple plain window as the base case.

3D Reticulated Actuator Inspired by Plant Up-Righting Movement Through a Cortical Fiber Network

In this article, straightforward functional demonstrators are used to show how insights into functional principles from living nature can be transferred into plant-inspired actuators with linear or asymmetric deformation.


Additive manufacturing has begun to revolutionize the production of various physical technologies that depend on bespoke geometry and tailored material properties for function. This includes the

Plant movements as concept generators for the development of biomimetic compliant mechanisms.

The knowledge on plant movement principles is summarized and how the different modes of actuation can be used in biomimetic approaches for the development motile technical systems are shown.

Self-Actuated Paper and Wood Models: Low-Cost Handcrafted Biomimetic Compliant Systems for Research and Teaching

This work has produced comparable simple handcrafted compliant systems based on paper, wood, plastic foil, and/or glue as construction materials that have a high potential for fast, precise, and low-cost abstraction and transfer processes in biomimetic approaches and for the “hands-on understanding” of plant movements in applied university and school courses.

Deformation Behavior of Elastomer-Glass Fiber-Reinforced Plastics in Dependence of Pneumatic Actuation

The bending angle increases with decreasing material stiffness and with increasing hinge width, while it is not affected by the flap stiffness itself, according to a finite element model software workflow.

Hygromorphic-Thermobimetal Composites as a Novel Approach to Enhance Passive Actuation of Adaptive Façades

Typical adaptive facades rely on mechanical actuators that respond to the outdoor climate and regulate its effect on indoor spaces. With the emergence of ubiquitous computing, several studies have

A variational formulation for motion design of adaptive compliant structures

This contribution deals with a method for the design of quasi-static motions of structures between two prescribed geometrical configurations that are optimal with regard to a specified quality function while taking large deformations into account.



Flectofin: a hingeless flapping mechanism inspired by nature

This paper presents a novel biomimetic approach to the kinematics of deployable systems for architectural purposes using fibre-reinforced polymers such as glass fibre reinforced polymer that can combine high tensile strength with low bending stiffness, thus offering a large range of calibrated elastic deformations.

Fiber-Reinforced Plastics with Locally Adapted Stiffness for Bio-Inspired Hingeless, Deployable Architectural Systems

This paper presents results of the investigation of two biological role models, the shield bug (Graphosomaitalicum) and the carnivorous Waterwheel plant (Aldrovandavesiculosa). The aim was to

Growth, geometry, and mechanics of a blooming lily

The physical process of blooming in the asiatic lily Lilium casablanca is studied and observations show that the edges of the petals wrinkle as the flower opens, suggesting that differential growth drives the deployment of these laminar shell-like structures.

Fibrillar Network Adaptive Structure with Ion-transport Actuation

The overall objective of this research is to create a new actuation system, emulating the ability of plants to generate large strains while carrying significant structural loads. Specifically, the

Slow, fast and furious: understanding the physics of plant movements.

Three of these rapid motion mechanisms have been elucidated recently and are described here: the snapping traps of two carnivorous plants, the Venus flytrap and Utricularia, and the catapult of fern sporangia.

Different mechanics of snap-trapping in the two closely related carnivorous plants Dionaea muscipula and Aldrovanda vesiculosa.

  • S. PoppingaM. Joyeux
  • Biology
    Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
  • 2011
Detailed mechanical models for these plants are presented, which are based on the theory of thin solid membranes, and show that the fast snapping of Aldrovanda is due to kinematic amplification of the bending deformation of the midrib, while that of Dionaea unambiguously relies on the buckling instability that affects the two lobes.

Biomimetic Research for Architecture and Building Construction

Rethinking the relationship between Homo sapiens and Planet Earth in the Anthropocene is fundamental for a sustainable future for humankind. The complex Earth system and planetary boundaries demand

Physical Limits and Design Principles for Plant and Fungal Movements

This study shows that quantification of the length and time scales involved in plant and fungal motions leads to a natural classification, whose physical basis can be understood through an analysis of the mechanics of water transport through an elastic tissue.

First jump of microgel; actuation speed enhancement by elastic instability

Swelling-induced snap-buckling in a 3D micro hydrogel device, inspired by the insect-trapping action of Venus flytrap, makes it possible to generate astonishingly fast actuation. We demonstrate that

Faster than their prey: new insights into the rapid movements of active carnivorous plants traps.

How carnivorous plants manage to execute fast motion is described and discussed and the prospects for future studies investigating potential universal mechanisms that could be the basis of key characteristic features in plant movement such as stimulus transduction, post-stimulatory mechanical answers, and organ formation are assessed.