(1) Why Today's Manufacturing Industry Needs Metamaterials

Nature Architectsの技術ブログでは弊社に関連する技術領域を中心として、あゆるものづくり業界に役立つ情報をシェアすることを目的にしています。 初回は3回連続で代表の大嶋がメタマテリアルにまつわる3つの重要なトピックを紹介します。

Nature Architects' technical blog aims to share useful information for the manufacturing industry, focusing on technical areas related to our company. In this first installment of a three-part series, our representative, Mr. Oshima, will introduce three important topics related to metamaterials.


Taisuke Ohshima

2022,08,08 2022,08,08



メタマテリアルという用語には様々な定義が存在しますが、弊社は最も広い意味での定義を採用しています。メタマテリアルとは特定の材料に人工的な幾何形状を設計する、または空間的に異素材を適切に配置して複合化させるなど、幾何構造や材料配置を適切に設計することで目的の”マクロな物性”がコントロールされたモノであり、その結果従来の物質の機能を凌駕するモノを指します。つまりすごく大雑把に言えばカタチの設計で新しい機能が生み出されたモノはメタマテリアルと考えることができます。動画のAuxetic構造は力学的メタマテリアル(Mechanical Metamaterials)のひとつだと言われています。


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私はNature Architectsにはメタマテリアルの設計を通して新しい機能を実現し普及させ、人類の営みをアップデートさせられると信じています。今後2~5年でみなさまに見せられる具体的な設計事例で大きなインパクトを出していこうと思っています。


*1Lakes, R.S. (1987) Foam Structures with a Negative Poisson’s Ratio. Science, 235, 1038-1040.

*2 "Pattern Transformation Triggered by Deformation" September 2007Physical Review Letters 99(8):084301

What is Metamaterials

What is a metamaterial? Before defining what a metamaterial is, let us first introduce one example. The metamaterial in this video is a simple geometric structure of holes in a common flexible material such as rubber or elastomer, but it produces an unusual deformation. On the other hand, the metamaterial in the video shrinks perpendicular to the direction of compression without expanding, creating an unusual deformation in which the overall volume expands and contracts. Such structures are called metamaterials with negative Poisson's ratios (auxetic).

There are many definitions of the term metamaterial, but we employ the broadest definition. Metamaterials are objects whose desired "macroscopic properties" are controlled by appropriately designing their geometric structure and material arrangement, such as by designing artificial geometries into specific materials or by compositing different materials in appropriate spatial arrangements, etc. As a result, they can surpass the functions of conventional materials. In other words, very broadly speaking, objects whose new functions are created by designing their shapes can be considered metamaterials. The Auxetic structure in the video is said to be one of the Mechanical Metamaterials.

Auxetic structures not only have interesting deformations, but also have the potential for industrial applications. For example, when an object touches the Auxetic structure, the Auxetic structure has an extremely large contact area compared to flexible materials such as rubber or elastomer with a positive Poisson's ratio, and the Auxetic structure has a high tracking/pressure dispersion that enables "deformation as if it were adsorbing the object.

Furthermore, this structure has a simple geometry with only holes, so it can be mass-produced. Therefore, if this structure is incorporated into bedding, office chairs, etc., it is (probably) possible to create highly functional products that significantly disperse body pressure.

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Auxetic structures are said to have the potential to produce properties that exceed those of conventional materials in terms of shock absorption, vibration absorption, and acoustic insulation, in addition to high tracking/pressure dispersion.

Auxetic structures with negative Poisson's ratios were first discovered in 19871, and a simple structure with holes in the video clip above was first reported in 2007, less than 20 years after its discovery2. The study of metamaterials, in general, is still a new field of research, and there are still many new functions that have never been experienced by humans.

Although we are not often aware of it in our daily lives, if we look back in history, the discovery/development/dissemination of new materials has greatly changed the activities of humankind. For example, without the discovery of glass, microscopes and glasses would not have existed, and science and culture would not have developed to this extent. Also, without optical fiber (a type of glass), we might not have had access to high-speed Internet. Glass is too great an example, but honeycomb structures, which is a type of metamaterial, are also widely used in the mobility and aerospace industries as lightweight, highly rigid in-wall components that support our lives behind the scenes. I believe that Nature Architects has the ability to realize and spread new functions through metamaterials design, and to update human activities. We would like to make a big impact with concrete design examples that I can show you in the next 2~5 years.


*1Lakes, R.S. (1987) Foam Structures with a Negative Poisson’s Ratio. Science, 235, 1038-1040.

*2 "Pattern Transformation Triggered by Deformation" September 2007Physical Review Letters 99(8):084301


代表取締役 / CEO

Chief Executive Officer

大嶋泰介Taisuke Ohshima Taisuke Ohshima

東京大学総合文化研究科広域科学専攻広域システム科学系博士課程単位取得退学。独立行政法人日本学術振興会特別研究員(DC1)、筑波大学非常勤研究員などを経て、2017年5月にNature Architectsを創業。メカニカル・メタマテリアル、コンピュテーショナルデザイン、デジタルファブリケーションの研究に従事する。独立行政法人情報処理推進機構より未踏スーパークリエータ、総務省より異能ベーションプログラム認定。

Ohshima received ABD in the Department of General Systems Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo. After working as a Research Fellow (DC1) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and a part-time researcher at the University of Tsukuba, he founded Nature Architects in May 2017. He is engaged in research on mechanical metamaterials, computational design, and digital fabrication, as well as the development of technologies for calculating the elasticity and deformation of materials and designing, fabricating, and controlling them freely through geometric structures. He has been certified as an MITOU Super Creator by the Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPSJ), and as an interdisciplinary researcher by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

Taisuke Ohshima
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Nature Architects株式会社

Nature Architects, Inc.

代表取締役:大嶋 泰介

CEO:Taisuke Ohsima

所在地:東京都港区赤坂8-4-7 アパートメントカーム7C

ADDRESS:Apartment Calm 3D, 8-4-7, Akasaka, Tokyo, 107-0052, Japan


Funded:May, 2017



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