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How to shape: Scutoid with self-packing in SOLIDWORKS



Some interesting news has developed in the scientific and mathematical community. In July 2018, a document was published by P Gómez-Gálvez: Scenoids are a geometric solution for the three-dimensional packaging of epithelia. So the first question you might have is: what is a scenoid? This is the exciting news! A scenoid is a 3D form discovered by researchers. It is described as a mix between a trunk and a prismatoid. This can be difficult to view, so here's a picture!

Scutoid image

You can see that the scenoid shown has two sets of parallel faces: a hexagon and a pentagon. The uniqueness of the form lies in the way they are connected. There is a side where there is a smaller triangular face. This "Y" shaped connection is what makes a scutoid a scutoid.

So why is the scenoid such a special shape? One of its most special properties is that (when the lengths of the sides are in the right proportions) they pack efficiently. We can see this in the picture below.

Scutoids Packing With Each Other

It is actually a little strange how this form has not been discovered, but it often occurs in nature. In fact, "scutoid" has been given its name because it resembles an insect's scutellum, but it also describes how some living cells cluster together to save more space. This is really an incredible form.

So with that, we model a scutoid, but not a scutoid, a scutoid that fits in with itself!

Watch the video to find out how!

I hope you enjoyed the video and we thank you for watching, if you know us at DesignPoint, you never do anything unless a 3D printer is involved. Obviously we had to get a tangible (and super strong) version of this in the office. Printed in our Markforged X7, take a look!

3D printed scutoids

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Author: Robert Maldonado, Application Engineer at DesignPoint


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