Origami-based sheet metal (OSM) folding techniques is a new emerging manufacturing procedure for sheet metal. In OSM the final part is folded into the desired 3D geometry using a sequence of folded bend lines. This process is enabled by creating material discontinues along the bend lines, either by laser cutting or by stamping. The objective of this paper is to optimize the design of OSM products while accounting for all possible flat patterns and accommodate manufacturing requirements for sheet metal products. OSM has an anticipated manufacturing benefits compared to traditional processes of sheet metal such as stamping; it requires minimal tooling and energy requirements thus is suitable for sustainable manufacturing alternatives. This paper discusses the implementation of optimization technique for OSM parts using a combination of traversal algorithm and manufacturing based indexes to reflect the requirements present in sheet metal industry. The outcomes of the optimization procedure resulted with topologically valid flat patterns with minimal scrap and wasted materials, in addition to minimal number of welded lines and fold line orientations in case of a robot effector is used to perform the fold. The work presented in this paper verified the validity of folding sheet metal using a single flat pattern into complex 3-D geometries from topological point view, in addition it highlights the major manufacturing concerns in folding sheet metal. This work also demonstrates a case study of optimizing a vehicular OSM part developed method.

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