Fully-printed metamaterial-type flexible wings with controllable flight characteristics

Zhilyaev I., Anerao N., Kottapalli A. G. P. , YILMAZ M. C. , Murat M., Ranjbar M. , ...More

Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, vol.17, no.2, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/1748-3190/ac42e2
  • Title of Journal : Bioinspiration and Biomimetics
  • Keywords: additive manufacturing, artificial wing, flapping flight, metamaterial, pattern, polymer, sound generation


© 2022 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.Insect wings are an outstanding example of how a proper interplay of rigid and flexible materials enables an intricate flapping flight accompanied by sound. The understanding of the aerodynamics and acoustics of insect wings has enabled the development of man-made flying robotic vehicles and explained basic mechanisms of sound generation by natural flyers. This work proposes the concept of artificial wings with a periodic pattern, inspired by metamaterials, and explores how the pattern geometry can be used to control the aerodynamic and acoustic characteristics of a wing. For this, we analyzed bio-inspired wings with anisotropic honeycomb patterns flapping at a low frequency and developed a multi-parameter optimization procedure to tune the pattern design in order to increase lift and simultaneously to manipulate the produced sound. Our analysis is based on the finite-element solution to a transient three-dimensional fluid-structure interactions problem. The two-way coupling is described by incompressible Navier-Stokes equations for viscous air and structural equations of motion for a wing undergoing large deformations. We 3D-printed three wing samples and validated their robustness and dynamics experimentally. Importantly, we showed that the proposed wings can sustain long-term resonance excitation that opens a possibility to implement resonance-type flights inherent to certain natural flyers. Our results confirm the feasibility of metamaterial patterns to control the flapping flight dynamics and can open new perspectives for applications of 3D-printed patterned wings, e.g. in the design of drones with target sound.