Helical Miura origami

Fan Feng, Paul Plucinsky, Richard D. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We characterize the phase space of all helical Miura origami. These structures are obtained by taking a partially folded Miura parallelogram as the unit cell, applying a generic helical or rod group to the cell, and characterizing all the parameters that lead to a globally compatible origami structure. When such compatibility is achieved, the result is cylindrical-type origami that can be manufactured from a suitably designed flat tessellation and "rolled up" by a rigidly foldable motion into a cylinder. We find that the closed helical Miura origami are generically rigid to deformations that preserve cylindrical symmetry but are multistable. We are inspired by the ways atomic structures deform to develop two broad strategies for reconfigurability: motion by slip, which involves relaxing the closure condition, and motion by phase transformation, which exploits multistability. Taken together, these results provide a comprehensive description of the phase space of cylindrical origami, as well as quantitative design guidance for their use as actuators or metamaterials that exploit twist, axial extension, radial expansion, and symmetry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033002
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through the MURI Grant No. FA9550-16-1-0566.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Physical Society.


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