Abstract

Recently, the techniques of origami have become the subject of scientific research. Such methods of folding plates are suitable for practical engineering applications. This paper proposes a novel structure, inspired by thick-panel origami, with hybrid rigid bodies and flexible hinges. Able to be expanded, flipped, and rotated, the waterbomb origami pattern has been chosen to produce a large number of configurations. The mechanism and motion analysis of a single unit and its basic assembly are conducted theoretically and also simulated. An additive fabrication method based on 3D printing makes it a one-step process to achieve a balance between rigidity and flexibility in the structure. Different configurations are demonstrated in three assemblies that exhibit good transformability, reconfigurability, and scalability. With the expansion/packaging ratio ranging from 0.11 to 7.2 in a modular unit, a mechanical metamaterial of negative Poisson’s ratio can be obtained at any spatial size. In addition, our design’s potential for robotic applications is also validated by an adaptable gripper with tendon-driven systems.

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