Folding at the Microscale: Enabling Multifunctional 3D Origami-Architected Metamaterials

Lin, Zhaowen; Novelino, Larissa S.; Wei, Heming; Alderete, Nicolas A.; Paulino, Glaucio H.; Espinosa, Horacio D.; Krishnaswamy, Sridhar

Small 16 (2020)

Mechanical metamaterials inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding have gained considerable attention because of their potential to yield deployable and highly tunable assemblies. The inherent foldability of origami structures enlarges the material design space with remarkable properties such as auxeticity and high deformation recoverability and deployability, the latter being key in applications where spatial constraints are pivotal. This work integrates the results of the design, 3D direct laser writing fabrication, and in situ scanning electron microscopic mechanical characterization of microscale origami metamaterials, based on the multimodal assembly of Miura-Ori tubes. The origami-architected metamaterials, achieved by means of microfabrication, display remarkable mechanical properties: stiffness and Poisson’s ratio tunable anisotropy, large degree of shape recoverability, multistability, and even reversible auxeticity whereby the metamaterial switches Poisson’s ratio sign during deformation. The findings here reported underscore the scalable and multifunctional nature of origami designs, and pave the way toward harnessing the power of origami engineering at small scales.