Thin sheets can be assembled into origami tubes to create a variety of deployable, reconfigurable, and mechanistically unique three dimensional structures. In this paper Evgueni Filipov, his advisor Professor Glaucio H. Paulino at GA Tech, and Professor Tomohiro Tachi of the University of Tokyo introduce and explore origami tubes with polygonal cross-sections that can reconfigure into numerous geometries. The tubes can be constructed to follow a non-linear curved line when deployed, and their cross-section can be reprogrammed by changing the direction of folding. The paper discusses the variety of tubular structures that can be conceived and it highlights the tunable mechanical characteristics of these systems. This class of origami tubes has potential applications ranging from pipes and micro-robotics to deployable architecture in buildings and building fa├žades.

The work was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society – A on January 27, 2016.

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Dog origami
Folding of origami tube with the cross-section of a dog
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Polygonal tube in a star shape

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