skip to main content

Title: Folding at the Microscale: Enabling Multifunctional 3D Origami‐Architected Metamaterials

Mechanical metamaterials inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding have gained considerable attention because of their potential to yield deployable and highly tunable assemblies. The inherent foldability of origami structures enlarges the material design space with remarkable properties such as auxeticity and high deformation recoverability and deployability, the latter being key in applications where spatial constraints are pivotal. This work integrates the results of the design, 3D direct laser writing fabrication, and in situ scanning electron microscopic mechanical characterization of microscale origami metamaterials, based on the multimodal assembly of Miura‐Ori tubes. The origami‐architected metamaterials, achieved by means of microfabrication, display remarkable mechanical properties: stiffness and Poisson’s ratio tunable anisotropy, large degree of shape recoverability, multistability, and even reversible auxeticity whereby the metamaterial switches Poisson’s ratio sign during deformation. The findings here reported underscore the scalable and multifunctional nature of origami designs, and pave the way toward harnessing the power of origami engineering at small scales.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    For artificial materials, desired properties often conflict. For example, engineering materials often achieve high energy dissipation by sacrificing resilience and vice versa, or desired auxeticity by losing their isotropy, which limits their performance and applications. To solve these conflicts, a strategy is proposed to create novel mechanical metamaterial via 3D space filling tiles with engaging key‐channel pairs, exemplified via auxetic 3D keyed‐octahedron–cuboctahedron metamaterials. This metamaterial shows high resilience while achieving large mechanical hysteresis synergistically under large compressive strain. Especially, this metamaterial exhibits ideal isotropy approaching the theoretical limit of isotropic Poisson's ratio, ‐1, as rarely seen in existing 3D mechanical metamaterials. In addition, the new class of metamaterials provides wide tunability on mechanical properties and behaviors, including an unusual coupled auxeticity and twisting behavior under normal compression. The designing methodology is illustrated by the integral of numerical modeling, theoretical analysis, and experimental characterization. The new mechanical metamaterials have broad applications in actuators and dampers, soft robotics, biomedical materials, and engineering materials/systems for energy dissipation.

    more » « less
  2. The folding motion of an origami structure can be stopped at a non-flat position when two of its facets bind together. Such facet-binding will induce self-locking so that the overall origami structure can stay at a pre-specified configuration without the help of additional locking devices or actuators. This research investigates the designs of self-locking origami structures and the locking-induced kinematical and mechanical properties. We show that incorporating multiple cells of the same type but with different geometry could significantly enrich the self-locking origami pattern design. Meanwhile, it offers remarkable programmability to the kinematical properties of the selflocking origami structures, including the number and position of locking points, and the deformation range. Self-locking will also affect the mechanical characteristics of the origami structures. Experiments and finite element simulations reveal that the structural stiffness will experience a sudden jump with the occurrence of self-locking, inducing a piecewise stiffness profile. The results of this research would provide design guidelines for developing self-locking origami structures and metamaterials with excellent kinematical and stiffness characteristics, with many potential engineering applications. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Geometrical‐frustration‐induced anisotropy and inhomogeneity are explored to achieve unique properties of metamaterials that set them apart from conventional materials. According to Neumann's principle, to achieve anisotropic responses, the material unit cell should possess less symmetry. Based on such guidelines, a triclinic metamaterial system of minimal symmetry is presented, which originates from a Trimorph origami pattern with a simple and insightful geometry: a basic unit cell with four tilted panels and four corresponding creases. The intrinsic geometry of the Trimorph origami, with its changing tilting angles, dictates a folding motion that varies the primitive vectors of the unit cell, couples the shear and normal strains of its extrinsic bulk, and leads to an unusual Poisson effect. Such an effect, associated with reversible auxeticity in the changing triclinic frame, is observed experimentally, and predicted theoretically by elegant mathematical formulae. The nonlinearities of the folding motions allow the unit cell to display three robust stable states, connected through snapping instabilities. When the tristable unit cells are tessellated, phenomena that resemble linear and point defects emerge as a result of geometric frustration. The frustration is reprogrammable into distinct stable and inhomogeneous states by arbitrarily selecting the location of a single or multiple point defects. The Trimorph origami demonstrates the possibility of creating origami metamaterials with symmetries that are hitherto nonexistent, leading to triclinic metamaterials with tunable anisotropy for potential applications such as wave propagation control and compliant microrobots.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Mechanical metamaterials are architected manmade materials that allow for unique behaviors not observed in nature, making them promising candidates for a wide range of applications. Existing metamaterials lack tunability as their properties can only be changed to a limited extent after the fabrication. Herein, a new magneto‐mechanical metamaterial is presented that allows great tunability through a novel concept of deformation mode branching. The architecture of this new metamaterial employs an asymmetric joint design using hard‐magnetic soft active materials that permits two distinct actuation modes (bending and folding) under opposite‐direction magnetic fields. The subsequent application of mechanical compression leads to the deformation mode branching where the metamaterial architecture transforms into two distinctly different shapes, which exhibit very different deformations and enable great tunability in properties such as mechanical stiffness and acoustic bandgaps. Furthermore, this metamaterial design can be incorporated with magnetic shape memory polymers with global stiffness tunability, which also allows for the global shift of the acoustic behaviors. The combination of magnetic and mechanical actuations, as well as shape memory effects, impart wide tunable properties to a new paradigm of metamaterials.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Zero Poisson’s ratio structures are a new class of mechanical metamaterials wherein the absence of lateral deformations allows the structure to adapt and conform their geometries to desired shapes with minimal interventions. These structures have gained attention in large deformation applications where shape control is a key performance attribute, with examples including but not limited to shape morphing, soft robotics, and flexible electronics. The present study introduces an experimentally driven approach that leads to the design and development of (near) zero Poisson’s ratio structures with considerable load-bearing capacities through concurrent density and architecture gradations in hybrid honeycombs created from hexagonal and re-entrant cells. The strain-dependent Poisson’s ratios in hexagonal and re-entrant honeycombs with various cell wall thicknesses have been characterized experimentally. A mathematical approach is then proposed and utilized to create hybrid structures wherein the spatial distribution of different cell shapes and densities leads to the development of honeycombs with minimal lateral deformations under compressive strains as high as 0.7. Although not considered design criteria, the load-bearing and energy absorption capacities of the hybrid structures are shown to be comparable with those of uniform cell counterparts. Finally, the new hybrid structures indicate lesser degrees of instability (in the form of cell buckling and collapse) due to the self-constraining effects imposed internally by the adjacent cell rows in the structures.

    more » « less