An approach for creating complex structures with embedded actuation in planar manufacturing steps is presented. Self-organization and energy minimization are central to this approach, illustrated with a model based on minimization of the hyperelastic free energy strain function of a stretched elastomer and the bending elastic energy of a plastic frame. A tulip-shaped gripper structure illustrates the technological potential of the approach. Advantages are simplicity of manufacture, complexity of final structures, and the ease with which any electroactive material can be exploited as means of actuation.

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