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Shellular Fabrication via Origami

Mostafa Akbari, Yao Lu, Masoud Akbarzadeh

Shellular Funicular Structures (SFSs) represent single-layer, two-manifold designs characterized by anticlastic curvature, conceived within the framework of graphic statics. These structures offer efficiency across various functions and scales. Despite their intricate geometry, they feature planar faces that facilitate manufacturing. This study delves into a fabrication approach employing the origami/kirigami technique. Constructing the structure from a flat sheet of material promises reduced construction expenses, minimized waste, and expanded applicability at larger scales.

Drawing inspiration from a mathematical methodology developed by Tomohiro Tachi for crafting polyhedral structures, this research explores the potential of fabricating curved shells with anticlastic properties. The proposed technique involves introducing a series of folds within the faces of the polyhedral geometry, rendering fabrication feasible. Indeed, without this approach, realizing a surface with anticlastic curvature through origami techniques remains a formidable challenge. Moreover, these folds align with the structural force distribution, thereby enhancing the system's overall structural performance. This investigation introduces a fabrication method that could obviate the necessity for conventional formwork, streamlining the manufacturing process and yielding positive outcomes in terms of labor, cost efficiency, and time savings.


This research was supported by the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation Grant (URF), National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER AWARD (NSF CAREER-1944691- CMMI), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Future Eco Manufacturing Research Grant (NSF, FMRG-CMMI 2037097) to Dr. Masoud Akbarzadeh.

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