An innovative bistable energy-absorbing cylindrical shell structure composed of multiple unit cells is presented in this paper. The structural parameters of the single-layer cylindrical shell structure that produces bistable characteristics are expounded both analytically and numerically. The influence of the number of circumferential cells and the size parameters of the cell ligament on the structure’s macroscopic mechanical response was analyzed. A series of cylindrical shell structures with various size parameters were fabricated using a stereolithography apparatus (SLA). Uniaxial loading and unloading experiments were conducted to achieve force–displacement relationships. Deformation of the structural multistable phase transition response was discussed based on experimental and finite element simulation results. The results show that the proposed innovative single-layer cylindrical shell structure will stabilize at two different positions under certain parameters. The multilayer cylindrical shell exhibits different force–displacement response curves under loading and unloading, and these curves enclose a closed area. In addition, this structure can be cyclically loaded and unloaded, thanks to its good stability and reproducibility, making it attractive in applications requiring repetitive energy absorption.

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