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HomeChemistryReconfigurable, structural materials inspired by origami and kirigami

Reconfigurable, structural materials inspired by origami and kirigami

Reconfigurable metamaterial that can either fold flat (AO2) in a pattern other than the original (O3), or deploy into two distinct configurations (A2O and A3) that are rigid and load-bearing. Credit: Damiano Pasini et al.

Industrial design has long been inspired by the Japanese art of origami. Folding is used to produce reconfigurable structures that alter function by shape. Nanorobots for medication delivery, folding solar panels for aerospace, and morphable cladding and shading for architecture could use these structures. These designs can’t withstand huge loads. Those who can only collapse in the direction they fold. Their structural use is limited.

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A McGill study may solve this problem. By combining origami with kirigami, the process of folding and cutting paper, researchers created a class of cellular metamaterials that can flat-fold and lock into numerous stiff postures.

“Their load-bearing capacity, flat-foldability, and reprogrammability can be leveraged for deployable constructions like submarines, reconfigurable robots, and low-volume packaging,” stated study author Damiano Pasini. Our metamaterials are stiff in multiple directions but rigorously flat-foldable, which is unusual.

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Nature Communications published the study.

Further information: Amin Jamalimehr et al, Rigidly flat-foldable class of lockable origami-inspired metamaterials with topological stiff states, Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-29484-1

Journal information: Nature Communications

Source: McGill University

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