Kinematics of Origami Structures With Smooth Folds Academic Article uri icon


  • Origami provides both inspiration and potential solutions to the fabrication, assembly, and functionality of various structures and devices. Kinematic modeling of origami-based objects is essential to their analysis and design. Models for rigid origami, in which all planar faces of the sheet are rigid and folds are limited to straight creases having only zeroth-order geometric continuity, are available in the literature. Many of these models include constraints on the fold angles to ensure that any initially closed strip of faces is not torn during folding. However, these previous models are not intended for structures with non-negligible fold thickness or with maximum curvature at the folds restricted by material or structural limitations. Thus, for general structures, creased folds of merely zeroth-order geometric continuity are not appropriate idealizations of structural response, and a new approach is needed. In this work, a novel model analogous to those for rigid origami with creased folds is presented for sheets having realistic folds of nonzero surface area and exhibiting higher-order geometric continuity, here termed smooth folds. The geometry of smooth folds and constraints on their associated shape variables are presented. A numerical implementation of the model allowing for kinematic simulation of sheets having arbitrary fold patterns is also described. Simulation results are provided showing the capability of the model to capture realistic kinematic response of origami sheets with diverse fold patterns.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hernandez, E., Hartl, D. J., & Lagoudas, D. C.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Hernandez, Edwin A Peraza||Hartl, Darren J||Lagoudas, Dimitris C

publication date

  • December 2016