Engineering Special

Japanese fold art makes strong material

Researchers at the University of Bristol using Japanese fold art a discover new ways to save on materials. The mechanical “metamaterial” is highly flexible and yet sturdy, and can in no time flat to three-dimensional. That can be useful for example, for fold-able electronics.

The researchers work with the principle of Kirigami variant of the more famous Origami, but then with the help of a pair of scissors. By incisions in paper to cut can be a simple A4 in all kinds of strange curves cramp. This made the researchers a honeycomb structure with a special feature: depending on what parts you press change stretches and the physical properties of the material.

Mechanical meta material

This is the cut and folded lap a so-called mechanical metamaterial, which has several properties under different conditions. For example, the flexibilty is great as there is with a wire to the Kirigami building work is drawn, while the stiff is if there is no power on the circuit. Also, the material can be distorted, for example, with wires of a flat to a three dimensional form.

Making the material is relatively simple. It’s a matter of regular slices in a sheet of paper, then fold the zigzagging and then fold the slices of “open” and redirecting.

Japanese fold art makes material

The modifiable malleability of the material has a wide range of possible applications. The researchers see for example applications in robotics-robots that can change their height in small holes to crawl and in “folding equipment”, that are simple (flat) to carry and then on location can be expanded.

Example: University of Bristol