Sensegrity is a dynamic-transformable light sculpture. The transformation is based on the effect of shape memory alloy (SMA), which can recover its initial trained shape by thermal action. In our project, we used these material properties to realize linear movements by using selfmade SMA spirals.

The sculpture “Sensegrity” consists of four acrylic rods connected by a central element, the nucleus. The outer ends of the acrylic rods are connected with elastic bands, forming a three-dimensional contour body. The geometric transformation of the sculpture is realized through the thermal activation of the shape memory alloy. The four segments of the light sculpture each consists of two SMA spirals attached to the acrylic rod ends and the nucleus. Using a self-developed control system, the SMA elements are electrically heated up until the shape memory alloy is activated at a certain temperature and recovers its basic trained shape. We use this contraction for the linear movement of the acrylic rods, which simultaneously conditions the geometric transformation.

The project is the result of a collaboration with the Smart3 Innovation Network, IWU Fraunhofer Institute Dresden and THE CONSTITUTE. The built prototype serves to demonstrate research results considering a possible application scenario.

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