Inspired by the spring blossoms of tulips and origami engineering, we have designed a monolithic self-deployable structure with the ability to fold (close) and unfold (open). The focus of this paper is the 3D design and prototyping of a self-folding origami structure actuated by shape memory alloys (SMAs). SMA actuators, spring and wires, provide controllable actuation based on the simplicity of their design and the shape memory effect. In mechanical engineering, the art of origami provides a novel approach for compliant mechanisms devices enabling relative movement between the components with reduction of the number of parts. The self-folding origami structures can be used in many applications for volume reduction in packaging and space engineering.
Additive manufacturing technologies enable easy and fast prototyping of the monolithic structure. The geometry of the structure and the integration of smart active materials within the structure enable the design to achieve complete self-folding.