In the emerging field of origami engineering, it is important to investigate ways to achieve large deformations to enable significant shape transformations. One way to achieve this is through the use of bistable mechanisms. The goal in this research is to investigate the feasibility and design of a compliant bistable mechanism that is actuated by magneto active elastomer (MAE) material. The MAE material has magnetic particles embedded in the material that are aligned during the curing process. When exposed to an external field, the material deforms to align the embedded particles with the field. We investigate actuation of the MAE material through the development of finite element analysis (FEA) models to predict the magnetic field required to snap the device from its first stable position to its second for various geometries and field strengths. The FEA model also predicts the displacement of the center of the mechanism as it moves from one position to the other to determine if the device is in fact bistable. These results help show the relationship between the substrate properties and the bistability of the device. Experimental results validate the FEA models and demonstrate the functionality of active materials to be used as actuators for such devices and applications of origami engineering.

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