skip to main content

Title: Creating Linkage Permutations to Prevent Self-Intersection and Enable Deployable Networks of Thick-Origami

Origami concepts show promise for creating complex deployable systems. However, translating origami to thick (non-paper) materials introduces challenges, including that thick panels do not flex to facilitate folding and the chances for self-intersection of components increase. This work introduces methods for creating permutations of linkage-based, origami-inspired mechanisms that retain desired kinematics but avoid self-intersection and enable their connection into deployable networks. Methods for reconfiguring overconstrained linkages and implementing them as modified origami-inspired mechanisms are proved and demonstrated for multiple linkage examples. Equations are derived describing the folding behavior of these implementations. An approach for designing networks of linkage-based origami vertices is demonstrated and applications for tessellations are described. The results offer the opportunity to exploit origami principles to create deployable systems not previously feasible.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
1663345 1240417
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Existing Civil Engineering structures have limited capability to adapt their configurations for new functions, non-stationary environments, or future reuse. Although origami principles provide capabilities of dense packaging and reconfiguration, existing origami systems have not achieved deployable metre-scale structures that can support large loads. Here, we established modular and uniformly thick origami-inspired structures that can deploy into metre-scale structures, adapt into different shapes, and carry remarkably large loads. This work first derives general conditions for degree-N origami vertices to be flat foldable, developable, and uniformly thick, and uses these conditions to create the proposed origami-inspired structures. We then show that these origami-inspired structures can utilize high modularity for rapid repair and adaptability of shapes and functions; can harness multi-path folding motions to reconfigure between storage and structural states; and can exploit uniform thickness to carry large loads. We believe concepts of modular and uniformly thick origami-inspired structures will challenge traditional practice in Civil Engineering by enabling large-scale, adaptable, deployable, and load-carrying structures, and offer broader applications in aerospace systems, space habitats, robotics, and more.

    more » « less
  2. Recent developments have shown that spatial structures devised from origami or low-dimensional rigid linkage mechanisms can be used to construct deployable arrays for antennas or satellites. Yet, some of these structures are limited to deployment in fixed planes or directions, or do not define straightforward processes for deployment. To surmount these limitations, this research introduces a reconfigurable single-degree-of-freedom spatial structure devised from a Kresling-inspired mechanism with integrated scissor arms. Analytical models are constructed to demonstrate compaction, deployment, and acoustic wave guiding capabilities of the proposed, modular structure. The influences of the geometric parameters on compaction, deployment, and scissor arm orientation are also explored, and reveal modular scissor arm behavior and large deployment-to-compaction area ratios. The acoustic wave guiding capabilities of the Kresling-inspired scissor structure are exemplified via a structure using spiral scissor arms, thereby proposing a novel concept for the construction of deployable wave guiding arrays. Experimental studies with model arrays complement the analytical findings of both the geometric reconfigurations and wave guiding functionality. Finally, out-of-plane configurations are depicted to demonstrate the three-dimensional shape change capabilities of the Kresling-inspired scissor structure. The results in this study encourage broader exploration of the interfaces between origami inspired structures and rigid linkage mechanisms.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    This paper presents a framework that can transform reconfigurable structures into systems with continuous equilibrium. The method involves adding optimized springs that counteract gravity to achieve a system with a nearly flat potential energy curve. The resulting structures can move or reconfigure effortlessly through their kinematic paths and remain stable in all configurations. Remarkably, our framework can design systems that maintain continuous equilibrium during reorientation, so that a system maintains a nearly flat potential energy curve even when it is rotated with respect to a global reference frame. This ability to reorient while maintaining continuous equilibrium greatly enhances the versatility of deployable and reconfigurable structures by ensuring they remain efficient and stable for use in different scenarios. We apply our framework to several planar four-bar linkages and explore how spring placement, spring types, and system kinematics affect the optimized potential energy curves. Next, we show the generality of our method with more complex linkage systems that carry external masses and with a three-dimensional origami-inspired deployable structure. Finally, we adopt a traditional structural engineering approach to give insight on practical issues related to the stiffness, reduced actuation forces, and locking of continuous equilibrium systems. Physical prototypes support the computational results and demonstrate the effectiveness of our method. The framework introduced in this work enables the stable, and efficient actuation of reconfigurable structures under gravity, regardless of their global orientation. These principles have the potential to revolutionize the design of robotic limbs, retractable roofs, furniture, consumer products, vehicle systems, and more.

    more » « less
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    This work introduces a mixed‐transducer micro‐origami to achieve efficient vibration, controllable motion, and decoupled sensing. Existing micro‐origami systems tend to have only one type of transducer (actuator/sensor), which limits their versatility and functionality because any given transducer system has a narrow range of advantageous working conditions. However, it is possible to harness the benefit of different micro‐transducer systems to enhance the performance of functional micro‐origami. More specifically, this work introduces a micro‐origami system that can integrate the advantages of three transducer systems: strained morph (SM) systems, polymer based electro‐thermal (ET) systems, and thin‐film lead zirconate titanate (PZT) systems. A versatile photolithography fabrication process is introduced to build this mixed‐transducer micro‐origami system, and their performance is investigated through experiments and simulation models. This work shows that mixed‐transducer micro‐origami can achieve power efficient vibration with high frequency, large vibration ranges, and little degradation; can produce decoupled folding motion with good controllability; and can accomplish simultaneous sensing and actuation to detect and interact with external environments and small‐scale samples. The superior performance of mixed‐transducer micro‐origami systems makes them promising tools for micro‐manipulation, micro‐assembly, biomedical probes, self‐sensing metamaterials, and more.

    more » « less