Research Papers: Design for Manufacture and the Life Cycle

Origami-Based Self-Folding Structure Design and Fabrication Using Projection Based Stereolithography

[+] Author and Article Information
Dongping Deng

Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering,
University of Southern California,
3715 McClintock Avenue,
GER 240,
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0193
e-mail: ddeng@usc.edu

Yong Chen

Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering,
University of Southern California,
3715 McClintock Avenue,
GER 201,
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0193
e-mail: yongchen@usc.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design for Manufacturing Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received May 10, 2014; final manuscript received November 6, 2014; published online December 4, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Carolyn Seepersad.

J. Mech. Des 137(2), 021701 (Feb 01, 2015) (12 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1279; doi: 10.1115/1.4029066 History: Received May 10, 2014; Revised November 06, 2014; Online December 04, 2014

Self-folding structures have unique capability such as reconfiguration during their usage. Such capability can be beneficial for a wide variety of applications including biomedical and electronics products. In this paper, a novel fabrication approach based on a three-dimensional (3D) printing process is presented for fabricating self-folding structures that can be actuated in a heating environment. The thermo-actuating structures that are designed and fabricated by our method are two-dimensional (2D) origami sheets, which have multiple printed layers. The middle layer of an origami sheet is a prestrained polystyrene film with large shrinkage ratios when heated. Both its top and bottom surfaces are covered with cured resin that is printed in designed shapes. A foldable hinge is achieved by constraining the shrinkage of the film on one side while allowing the shrinkage of the film on another side when the origami sheet is exposed to a heating environment. Heuristic models of hinge's folding angles are developed based on the related folding mechanism. A 2D origami sheet design and fabrication method is presented for a given 3D structure. Various experimental tests are performed to verify the self-folding performance of the designed and fabricated origami sheets. Techniques on improving folding angle control are also discussed with possible applications.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
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Fig. 1

An illustration of four different self-folding structures

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Fig. 2

The bending principle of a bilayer structure and the constraining effect of cured resin

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Fig. 3

Two self-folding structure designs

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Fig. 7

Bending analysis of a self-folding hinge

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Fig. 6

Design parameters of a hinge and its neighboring body portion in the origami sheet

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Fig. 5

Shrinkage behavior of the tested polystyrene films

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Fig. 4

Two fabrication processes for the sandwiched structure design and related test examples

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Fig. 9

The physical structure of a chamber

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Fig. 8

The bottom-up projection based MIP-SL setup as well as a modified chamber design

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Fig. 10

Origami sheets with unidirectional and bidirectional folding

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Fig. 11

The fabrication process of a bidirectional folding design with extra feature layers

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Fig. 18

A test case of an origami structure with eight “legs” - four in each side

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Fig. 19

Two self-folding origami structures (a crane and a cube) with letters (‘‘USC’’)

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Fig. 12

Built samples in the folding experiment

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Fig. 13

Data fitting using both elastic and plastic model based on the folding angle

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Fig. 17

A string test case using letters of “USC”

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Fig. 14

Two verifying test cases for small angles (α < 80 deg)

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Fig. 15

A verifying test case for large angles (α ≥ 80 deg)



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