Programmable meta-materials

During my final bachelor project (FBP) I investigated the possibility to create interactive meta-materials through the use of bi-stability. Meta-materials are material structures that get their properties from their internal structure instead of material properties. This is made possible by advancements in additive manufacturing technologies (Zadpoor, 2016). The result of my FBP research project is a proposal, in paper form, for a modular system of bi-stable metamaterials that can perform continuous computation by switching bi-stable elements between their two stable states. To demonstrate the continuous nature of this system, I made a 2-bit binary adder that only requires one input to perform a continuous operation. Every time a cycle, changing the Input from OFF to ON and back to OFF, is completed the stored number in the bits will have gone up by one.

In the past semester, I have gone through many iterations of the elements that form the basis for the system and how they should be designed in order to be able to perform calculations. The most important parts of this process are described in the paper that forms the body of this report. This should give an adequate overview of the types of activities that were done and how they contributed to the final result.

My FBP was done in the Adaptive Mobility squid with Lightyear as a client. Lightyear, who makes a commercial solar car is interested in keeping all the components in the vehicle as light as possible. The project I choose to work on was to apply meta-materials for the design of a car seat. Based on a literature review and consulting a professor active in the field I decided to take my FBP into the direction of creating an interactive programmable system out of bi-stable metamaterials that could one day be used to facilitate shape change is a meta-material car seat.


Zadpoor, A. A. (2016). Mechanical meta-materials. Materials Horizons, 3(5), 371–381.

Moment Mug

Moment mug is a reusable takeaway coffee cup that brings back the joy of drinking coffee into coffee on the go. The mug has several features that all add to the experience of drinking coffee in your favourite coffee bar.


Baristas can make the most beautiful latte art. The top of the lid consists of two transparent parts, so you can always enjoy the latte art that comes with your cappuccino.
The lid is shaped in such a way that when you turn it, it will reveal a small see-through part of the mug. This way you can always see how much coffee there is left in your mug.


To be able to drink from the Moment Mug you have to turn the lid one hundred and eighty degrees. This will open a large part of the top of the mug so drinking is easy and comfortable. While turning you open the mug so you can drink from it, making sure you take a moment whilst drinking your coffee.


The base of the Moment mug is textures with ground coffee beans. The beans give of a sent that makes you enjoy your coffee even more. The texture adds another dimension to the whole experience.
The lid is held in place with little magnets. These magnets make sure that when you turn the lid you will get tangible feedback when the lid is in the right position.


This is the part of the Moment mug that gives it its name. One part of the lid has a text engraved into it. It can be the song that was playing while you were waiting for your coffee, the name of the barista or something else. With this text, you take a little bit of the experience with you to enjoy on the go.


While making the Moment mug we went through many iterations before we got to the final design. During the process, the collaborated closely with a local coffee bar in Eindhoven, Zwart Wit Koffie. We started with the idea to design a new coffee to go mug that would provide a better drinking experience of the coffee.
The first prototypes were made from simple materials as a proof of concept. Later on in the process, we used 3D printing and laser cutting to make the prototypes.

Moment mug is a project by six Industrial Design students for the course ‘Design for the Here and the Now’ (DCB130) by Pierre Levy.

In collaboration with: Kayla Fenwick - Emiel Sietsma - Bart Bolluijt
Moos van der Bijl - Vimukthi Gunatilleke