The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new kind of actively controlled microarchitecture that can alter its bulk shape through the deformation of compliant elements. This new type of microarchitecture achieves its reconfigurable shape capabilities through a new control strategy that utilizes linearity and closed-form analytical tools to rapidly calculate the optimal internal actuation effort necessary to achieve a desired bulk surface profile. The microarchitectures of this paper are best suited for high-precision applications that would benefit from materials that can be programmed to rapidly alter their surfaces/shape relatively small amounts in a controlled manner. Examples include distortion-correcting surfaces on which precision optics are mounted, airplane wings that deform to increase maneuverability and fuel efficiency, and surfaces that rapidly reconfigure to alter their texture. In this paper, the principles are provided for optimally designing 2D or 3D versions of the new kind of microarchitecture such that they exhibit desired material property directionality. The mathematical theory is provided for modeling and calculating the actuation effort necessary to drive these microarchitectures such that their lattice shape comes closest to achieving a desired profile. Case studies are provided to demonstrate this theory.

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