Insect wing 3D printing

Kazuya Saito, Hiroto Nagai, Kai Suto, Naoki Ogawa, Young ah Seong, Tomohiro Tachi, Ryuma Niiyama, Yoshihiro Kawahara

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Insects have acquired various types of wings over their course of evolution and have become the most successful terrestrial animals. Consequently, the essence of their excellent environmental adaptability and locomotive ability should be clarified; a simple and versatile method to artificially reproduce the complex structure and various functions of these innumerable types of wings is necessary. This study presents a simple integral forming method for an insect-wing-type composite structure by 3D printing wing frames directly onto thin films. The artificial venation generation algorithm based on the centroidal Voronoi diagram, which can be observed in the wings of dragonflies, was used to design the complex mechanical properties of artificial wings. Furthermore, we implemented two representative functions found in actual insect wings: folding and coupling. The proposed crease pattern design software developed based on a beetle hindwing enables the 3D printing of foldable wings of any shape. In coupling-type wings, the forewing and hindwing are connected to form a single large wing during flight; these wings can be stored compactly by disconnecting and stacking them like cicada wings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number18631
    JournalScientific reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • General


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