Paper Tubes Make Stiff Origami Structures

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From shipping and construction to outdoor space, origami could put a folded turn on constructional engineering.

Researchers Glaucio Paulino (left) and Evgueni Filipov uncover a vast origami structure that can be folded into a most smaller space. Filipov is from University of Illinois during Urbana-Champaign; Paulino is from a Georgia Institute of Technology. Image credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

Researchers Glaucio Paulino (left) and Evgueni Filipov uncover a vast origami structure that can be folded into a most smaller space. Filipov is from University of Illinois during Urbana-Champaign; Paulino is from a Georgia Institute of Technology. Image credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

Researchers from a University of Illinois during Urbana-Champaign, a Georgia Institute of Technology and a University of Tokyo have grown a new “zippered tube” pattern that creates paper structures unbending adequate to reason weight nonetheless means to overlay prosaic for easy shipping and storage. Their process could be practical to other skinny materials, such as cosmetic or metal, to renovate structures trimming from seat and buildings to little robots.

Illinois connoisseur researcher Evgueni Filipov, Georgia Tech highbrow Glaucio Paulino and University of Tokyo highbrow Tomohiro Tachi published their work Sep 7 in a journal Proceedings of a National Academy of Sciences.

Origami structures would be useful in many engineering and bland applications, such as a robotic arm that could strech out and scrunch up, a construction derrick that could overlay to collect adult or broach a load, or pop-up furniture. Paulino sees sold intensity for quick-assembling puncture shelters, bridges and other infrastructure in a arise of a healthy disaster.

“Origami became some-more of an design for engineering and a scholarship only in a final 5 years or so,” Filipov said. “A lot of it was driven by space exploration, to be means to launch structures compactly and muster them in space. But we’re starting to see how it has intensity for a lot of opposite fields of engineering. You could prefabricate something in a factory, boat it compactly and muster it on site.”

The researchers use a sold origami technique called Miura-ori folding. They make precise, zig-zag folded strips of paper, afterwards glue dual strips together to make a tube. While a singular frame of paper is rarely flexible, a tube is stiffer and does not overlay in as many directions.

The researchers attempted coupling tubes in opposite configurations to see if that combined to a constructional rigidity of a paper structures. They found that interlocking dual tubes in zipper-like conform done them most stiffer and harder to turn or bend. The structure folds adult flat, nonetheless fast and simply expands to a firm tube configuration.

“The geometry is what unequivocally plays a role,” Paulino said. “We are putting dual tubes together in a bizarre way. What we wish is a structure that is stretchable and unbending during a same time. This is only paper, though it has extensive stiffness.”

The zipper pattern works even with tubes that have opposite angles of folding. By mixing tubes with opposite geometries, a researchers can make many opposite three-dimensional structures, such as a bridge, a canopy or a tower.

“The ability to change functionality in genuine time is a genuine advantage in origami,” Filipov said. “By carrying these transformable structures, we can change their functionality and make them adaptable. They are reconfigurable. You can change a element characteristics: You can make them stiffer or softer depending on a dictated use.”

The group uses paper prototypes to denote how a thin, stretchable piece can be folded into organic structures, though their techniques could be practical to other skinny materials, Filipov said. Larger-scale applications could mix steel or cosmetic panels with hinges.

Next, a researchers devise to try new combinations of tubes with opposite folding angles to build new structures. They also wish to request their techniques to other materials and try applications from large-scale construction to little structures for biomedical inclination or robotics.

“All of these ideas request from a nanoscale and microscale adult to vast beam and even structures that NASA would muster into space,” Paulino said. “Depending on your interest, a applications we consider are endless. We have only scratched a surface. Once we have a absolute concept, that we consider a zipper coupling is, we can try applications in many opposite areas.”

Source: Georgia Tech