Multivalued Inverse Design: Multiple Surface Geometries from One Flat Sheet
Designing flat sheets that can be made to deform into three-dimensional shapes is an area of intense research with applications in micromachines, soft robotics, and medical implants. Thus far, such sheets were designed to adopt a single target shape. Here, we show that through anisotropic deformation applied inhomogeneously throughout a sheet, it is possible to design a single sheet that can deform into multiple surface geometries upon different actuations. The key to our approach is development of an analytical method for solving this multivalued inverse problem. Such sheets open the door to fabricating machines that can perform complex tasks through cyclic transitions between multiple shapes. As a proof of concept, we design a simple swimmer capable of moving through a fluid at low Reynolds numbers. © 2021 American Physical Society.