Matt Shomper on Computational Mapping of Biomimetic Structures in Medical Devices and Beyond
CDFAM Expert Speaker Series Interview
Having a background in both mechanical and biomedical engineering, Matt Shomper is a leading expert in designing cutting-edge medical devices using 3D printing.
His extensive expertise in engineering metamaterials through computational design, coupled with his experience in guiding complex designs through the FDA approval process, has allowed Matt to break new ground in computational design and additive manufacturing.
With the recent launch of his consultancy, 'Not A Robot,' Matt provides top-tier engineering services, focusing on designing not just products but also the systems required to establish computational workflows for medical devices and beyond.
In this interview excerpt, Matt shares insights on his presentation at the CDFAM Symposium, which explores the topic of ‘Computational Mapping of Biomimetic Structures in Response to External Loading Conditions’.
The full interview with Matt Shomper is available on the CDFAM Symposium site.
Can you start by giving us an overview of the topics and key points you will be discussing in your presentation at the CDFAM Symposium, which is entitled ‘Computational Mapping of Biomimetic Structures in Response to External Loading Conditions‘?
Absolutely! So, most people that follow my work know that I’m a little obsessed with all things biomimicry – nature as applied to human-use products.
Most natural structures are optimized over time as a response to their environment, whether that’s forces, temperatures, sunlight, fluid flow, etc. This is directly opposite to how most engineers and designers create products – entirely static and rigid. There’s an attempt in design to make these structures more organic, but ultimately I’ve found most of the attempts is just slapping radii on already pre-formatted geometry.
One of the things I’d like to show is my recent attempts at creating algorithms that naturally respond to their input conditions. What they create sometimes doesn’t jive with an engineering understanding of the problem, but I think this is why it’s so fascinating – it forces us out of our rigid box of the “known” and into this space where we kind of let the solution manifest of itself. Which feels scary since we don’t have fundamental control over every “voxel” of the solution.
I’ll be showing some load-bearing and temperature-response scenarios with varying input geometry. Essentially showing that once you build the algorithm the designer is given the ability to specify any input field and tweak the loading scenario and then it’s off to the races!
What are the main points you intend to convey to the audience in your upcoming presentation, and what are your personal goals or desired outcomes for participating in the CDFAM Symposium?
My hope is to inspire a bevy of designers and engineers to look at what the physical world has already “engineered’ and take these ideas and turn them into a physical reality.
CDFAM is being billed as a thought leadership event, and based upon the list of speakers certainly seems poised to live up to the hype. I’m hoping to engage in real high-level conversations with other professionals in the computational design space about AI, generative design, algorithmic design, simulation-driven feedback, and more!