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Computational Design of Rigid Origami Structure

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Origami, the art of folding a sheet of paper into various forms without stretching or cutting, can be applied to structural engineering and design purposes. The applications include the forming of a 3D surface without assembling multiple parts and the construction of kinetic structures such as retractable roofs, openings, temporary shelters, and space structures. A plate-and-hinge model of origami, i.e., transformable polyhedral surface, is called “rigid origami”. rigid origami is useful for designing kinetic and deployable structures, because of the following reasons.

1. The structure based on a watertight surface is suitable for constructing an envelope of a space, a roof, or a facade. 2. Purely geometric mechanism that does not rely on the elasticity of materials can realize robust kinetic structure in a larger scale under gravity. 3. The configuration is controlled by a few degrees of freedom. This enables a semi-automatic deployment of the structure.

Since rigid origami transforms in a rigorous synchronized motion based on multiple non-linear constraints, the design of rigid origami is not a trivial problem given by an arbitrary design approach without geometric considerations (e.g., copy and paste of origami patterns). In this talk, the speaker introduces his researches on computational methods to design and solve rigid origami structures. Some of the design systems (Rigid Origami Simulator and Freeform Origami) are available in the speaker’s webpage (http://www.tsg.ne.jp/TT/software/).

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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