Although deployable structures have important applications in various fields, developing a new form of structural configuration faces some scientific challenges. Furthermore, kinematic singularity frequently exists in these structures, which has a negative impact on deployment performance and stiffness. To deal with these problems, this paper obtains inspiration from crystals on two-dimensional (2D) space, and aims at developing symmetric deployable structures assembled by identical link members and periodic units. Mobility and compatibility conditions of crystal-inspired deployable structures are given, and a detailed design for novel joints with bevels gears is proposed to avoid singularity of these symmetric structures. According to feasible solutions to the compatibility conditions, several types of deployable structures are developed and verified to be mobile with a single degree of freedom. The results show that the proposed joint with bevel gears has a satisfactory singularity avoidance capability, and the assembled structures exhibit a good deployment performance. Because a crystal-inspired deployable structure can be gradually deployed to cover a large area, it has a potential engineering application as a macroscopic or mesoscale structure.
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