Joshua E. Nieman



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Rigid-body shape-changing mechanisms are composed of a set of links and revolute joints and have the capacity to morph between shapes when actuated. This project examines the challenges associated with the design of a mechanism for morphing from a ''U'' to a ''D''. The initial stage of designing a shape-changing mechanism is completed in two dimensions and yields a design containing a large number of links and joints. Moving this planar concept into a 3D, fully realizable device provides an additional set of design challenges. The stacking, or identifying the vertical ordering of the links, is the challenge. Without a thorough consideration of the motion of the device, links are likely to collide with each other or with joint axes. Stacking issues were identified and remedied via a 3D CAD program. The resulting mechanism was fabricated to provide proof of concept.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Andrew P. Murray

Primary Advisor's Department

Engineering Technology


Stander Symposium poster

Design and Prototyping of a 3D Shape Changing Mechanism