Origami engineering combines the ancient art of origami with mathematics, materials, engineering and design.

Multifeld-Active Materials

Work is underway to develop composite structures that are responsive to both electric and magnetic fields, as shown in the bifold prototype at left comprised of magneto-active elastomer (MAE), dielectric elastomer (DE) and silicone rubber (PDMS). These composites will be able to fold and unfold along different fold lines for each mode of actuation as predicted below by FEA.



Mountain-Valley Structure

MAE Accordion Structure

A simple mountain-valley folding structure has been developed that actuates under oscillating magnetic fields. The structure is capable of large reversible deformations. The images below show a representative finite element simulation as well as a schematic of a kinematic model used to predict structure behavior.



Origami Box

Cube, Miura and Water Bomb Structures

Prototype structures for cubic structures as well as the Miura and water bomb folds have been produced. The cube uses magneto-active elastomer material bonded to a PDMS substrate. The miura and water bomb structures use small rare earth magnets bonded to "rigid" Delran sheets that are themselves bonded to a PDMS substrate.