Turn chaos into manufacturable shapes with 3D printing

Turn chaos into manufacturable shapes with 3D printing

Turn chaos into manufacturable shapes with 3D printing

A butterfly flaps its wings and scientists make jewelry

The chaotic shapes in this bronze-printed image are the first created by the group. They represent the first step in transforming chaos into manufacturable forms. Credits: Francesca Bertacchini, Pietro S. Pantano, Eleonora Bilotta

The further back in time, the less reliable a weather forecast. This is because small fluctuations in initial weather conditions can completely change the entire system and make it unpredictable. Put another way, in the “butterfly effect,” an insect can flap its wings and create a microscopic change in initial conditions that results in a hurricane halfway around the world.

This chaos can be seen everywhere, from the weather to labor markets to brain dynamics. And now in the diary chaosResearchers at the University of Calabria explored how to 3D print the twisted, fractal structures behind the science into jewelry.

The jewelry shapes are based on the Chua circuit, a simple electronic system that was the first physical, mathematical, and experimental evidence of chaos. Instead of an ordinary circuit that produces an oscillating current, Chua’s circuit results in oscillations that never repeat themselves.

“These chaotic configurations, called strange attractors, are complex structures that have never been observed before,” said author Eleonora Bilotta. “Depictions of such structures are strikingly beautiful and constantly changing as the perspective changes. Jewelry seemed the best way to interpret the beauty of chaotic shapes.”

Initially, the team attempted to employ goldsmiths to create prototypes of the meandering, arc-shaped patterns. But the chaotic shapes proved too difficult to create using traditional methods. In contrast, additive printing allows for the necessary detail and structure. By 3D printing the jewelry, the team created a countermold that a goldsmith could use as a cast.

“Seeing the chaotic shapes transform into real, polished, shiny, physical jewelry was a great joy for the whole team. Touching and wearing them was also extremely exciting,” said Bilotta. “We believe it’s the same joy that a scientist feels when her theory takes shape or when an artist finishes a painting.”

The jewelry can also be used as a teaching tool to enable students to develop their scientific knowledge and artistic creativity. By building Chua’s circuitry, they can manipulate chaos and discover extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. While designing the jewelry before sending it to print, they can tweak the parameters to create different shapes according to personal taste.

In the future, the authors plan to explore representations of chaos using spheres instead of lines. They also plan to create images of chaotic patterns and have developed an exhibition that can be adapted for international museums.

The article “Jewels from chaos: A fascinating journey from abstract forms to physical objects” is published in chaos on January 24, 2023.

More information:
Jewels from Chaos: A fascinating journey from abstract forms to physical objects, Chaos An interdisciplinary journal of nonlinear science (2023). DOI: 10.1063/5.0130029

Journal Information:

Provided by the American Institute of Physics

Citation: Transforming Chaos into Manufacturable Forms with 3D Printing (2023, January 24), retrieved January 24, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-01-chaos-3d.html

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