The shape of a dielectric elastomer minimum energy structure (DEMES) depends on the equilibrium between a pre-stretched membrane and an inextensible frame. The authors show that an extended dynamic relaxation method, a technique employed for the form-finding and analysis of pre-stressed structures, can be used to simulate DEMES equilibrium shapes. Physical models show excellent agreement with the shape of computed models. Dynamic relaxation, with its low computational cost, is a powerful form-finding technique that efficiently predicts the equilibrium shape as well as the elastic energy of DEMES.

Image: DEMES