MMaterialsgateNEWS 2017/10/13

New Software Speeds Origami Structure Designs

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new computer-aided approach that streamlines the design process for origami-based structures, making it easier for engineers and scientists to conceptualize new ideas graphically while simultaneously generating the underlying mathematical data needed to build the structure in the real world.

Origami paper folding techniques in recent years have been at center of research efforts focused on finding practical engineering applications for the ancient art, with ideas ranging from deployable antennas to robotic arms.

“Our work provides a means to predict computationally the real origami behavior of a design – something that up to now has not been easily done,” said Glaucio Paulino, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “With the new software, we can easily visualize and, most importantly, engineer the behavior of deployable, self-assembling, and adaptable origami systems.”

The research, which was supported by the National Science Foundation and reported October 11th in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A, involved building a computer model to simulate the interaction between the two facets of a folded sheet, including how easily and how far the folds would bend and how much the flat planes would deform during movement.

Once all sections were connected together and digitally represented a piece of origami, the model could simulate how the structure would behave based on what type of material – from soft paper to hard plastic or metal – would be used to create the object.

“This type of modeling was possible already using finite element analysis, but that is a time-consuming process that could take hours or days and provides a lot of unnecessary data,” said Ke Liu, a Georgia Tech graduate student who worked on the project. “Our new process is much faster and gives us the underlying data for how the origami works.”

The software, which is called MERLIN, allows the researchers to simulate how origami structures will respond to compression forces from different angles – one at a time or several simultaneously. The researchers can then quickly adjust the parameters for the type of material used or from what angle it is compressed to see how that would change the behavior of the piece.

For one of their simulations, the researchers recreated a foldable wine bottle gift bag that uses a cylindrical shell origami called the Kresling pattern. When the top of the structure is compressed to a threshold point, sections of the bag collapse in on themselves in multiple stages.

“The software also allows us to see where the energy is stored in the structure and better understand and predict how the objects will bend, twist and snap,” Paulino said.

Paulino and his team recently designed an origami structure capable of being reconfigured to fold into different shapes. The goal was to lay the groundwork for structures that could eventually reconfigure themselves, such as an antenna that could change its shape and operate at different frequencies.

“With this new design approach, we’re able to get insight with every iteration of the design, which will guide our design choices and ultimately give us more power to fine-tune these structures,” Paulino said.

The software will be provided free for other researchers to use and will be used as an educational tool for undergraduate students at Georgia Tech.

Source: Georgia Institute of Technology – 11.10.2017.

CITATION:

K. Liu, G. H. Paulino, “Nonlinear Mechanics of Non-Rigid Origami: An Efficient Computational Approach,” (Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 2017).

Investigated and edited by:

Dr.-Ing. Christoph Konetschny, Inhaber und Gründer von Materialsgate
Büro für Material- und Technologieberatung
The investigation and editing of this document was performed with best care and attention.
For the accuracy, validity, availability and applicability of the given information, we take no liability.
Please discuss the suitability concerning your specific application with the experts of the named company or organization.

You want additional material or technology investigations concerning this subject?

Materialsgate is leading in material consulting and material investigation.
Feel free to use our established consulting services

MMore on this topic

A Case Western Reserve University researcher has turned the origami she enjoyed as a child into a patent-pending soft robot that may one day be used on an assembly line, in surgery or even outer space.

Kiju Lee, the Nord Distinguished Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and her lab have moved from paper robots to 3-D-printed models that bend, contract, extend and twist. This novel mechanism is called TWISTER (TWISted TowEr Robot). A video is available at case.edu/mae/robotics/videos/OrigamiBot_IEEERA-L.mp4 TWISTER was inspired by an origami twisted tower originally designed by Japanese artist Mihoko Tachibana, which uses multiple origami segments to form a tower structure. This origami design was then reinvented for various potential applications in robotics and manufacturing. In her earlier work using paper-folded structures, Lee’s team added three small... more read more

27.06.2017

Origami anything

New algorithm generates practical paper-folding patterns to produce any 3-D structure.

In a 1999 paper, Erik Demaine — now an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science, but then an 18-year-old PhD student at the University of Waterloo, in Canada — described an algorithm that could determine how to fold a piece of paper into any conceivable 3-D shape. It was a milestone paper in the field of computational origami, but the algorithm didn’t yield very practical folding patterns. Essentially, it took a very long strip of paper and wound it into the desired shape. The resulting structures tended to have lots of seams where the strip doubled back on itself, so they weren’t very sturdy. At the Symposium on Computational Geometry in July, Demaine and Tomohiro... more read more

A new disposable battery that folds like an origami ninja star could power biosensors and other small devices for use in challenging field conditions, says an engineer at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Seokheun "Sean" Choi, assistant professor of computer and electrical engineering at Binghamton University, along with two of his students, developed the device, a microbial fuel cell that runs on the bacteria available in a few drops of dirty water. They report on their invention in a new paper published online in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Choi previously developed a paper-based origami battery. The first design, shaped like a matchbook, stacked four modules together. The ninja star version, which measures about 2.5 inches wide, boasts increased power and voltage, with eight small batteries connected in series. "Last time, it was a proof of concept. The... more read more

Origami, the ancient art of paper folding, may soon provide a foundation for antennas that can reconfigure themselves to operate at different frequencies, microfluidic devices whose properties can change in operation -- and even heating and air-conditioning ductwork that adjusts to demand.

The applications could result from reconfigurable and reprogrammable origami tubes developed by researchers at three institutions, including the Georgia Institute of Technology. By changing the ways in which the paper is folded, the same tube can have six or more different cross sections. Though the models are now reconfigured by hand, magnetic or electrical actuators could make the changes when the tubes are used in real-world applications. The tubes can be folded flat for shipping, and made in a range of sizes from the nanoscale up to architectural scale. By developing the mathematical theory behind the folding, the researchers can design tubes with the exact properties needed for electrical... more read more

MaterialsgateNEWSLETTER

Partner of the Week

Search in MaterialsgateNEWS

Books and products

MaterialsgateFAIR:
LET YOURSELF BE INSPIRED