'Developable Mechanisms': New Class of Mechanical Devices Morph and Transform

Brigham Young University engineers introduce a new class of mechanical devices called "developable mechanisms." They are built into the surfaces of structures, without taking up any space below the surface. Developable surfaces and materials can take on three-dimensional shapes from flat formations without tearing, somewhat like Iron Man's transforming exoskeleton suit. Compact mechanisms are increasingly important as manufacturers work to get more complex functionality in less space. Potential applications of these new developable mechanisms are in medical surgical instruments, vehicle and airplane storage components, and adjustable drones for military.