This video shows the 5-axis cnc machining of a base plate that is a seed crystallization point for the assembly of digital material lattice columns.
At the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms we're developing digital materials - materials assembled from a discrete set of parts with discrete sets of physically encoded orientations. My research involves building ribosome inspired robotic assembly systems of digital material column lattices. The material (parts) define the degrees of freedom of the robot and the capabilities of the robots define the design of the parts. The system is an integration between material and machine.
I designed the parts in Solidworks, the path planning was done in HSMWorks and the machining performed on a Hurco VM10U.
More information about our research: http://dma.cba.mit.edu