Sequential snapping and pathways in a mechanical metamaterial
Materials that feature bistable elements, hysterons, exhibit memory effects. Often, these hysterons are difficult to observe or control directly. Here, we introduce a mechanical metamaterial in which slender elements, interacting with pushers, act as mechanical hysterons. We show how we can tune the hysteron properties and pathways under cyclic compression by the geometric design of these elements and how we can tune the pathways of a given sample by tilting one of the boundaries. Furthermore, we investigate the effect of the coupling of a global shear mode to the hysterons as an example of the interactions between hysteron and non-hysteron degrees of freedom. We hope our work will inspire further studies on designer matter with targeted pathways.