Software design tool for creating origami structures

Origami can be used to create a variety of shapes and forms, but it is difficult and time-consuming to create specific geometries. This software design tool, based on proprietary algorithms, is the first method to create an origami-based structure with user-defined curvature. It does so by solving the “inverse design problem” of surface fitting: it generates an origami pattern for any user-defined geometric surface.

As a result, one can rapidly create highly complex structures matching a desired target surface. This capability can be applied to a range of materials, scaling in thickness from graphene to paper to building facades.

It holds the promise of abstracting the complexity of origami, enabling product designers to fabricate products with highly unique properties, in product categories such as mechanical/acoustic/thermal insulators, emergency deployable or collapsible structures, elements of micro-mechanical circuits such as pumps, diodes, amplifiers or switches, lighting fixtures and fashion items.

Various shapes made from Miura-ori pattern (Image courtesy of Mahadevan Lab).

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending