The objective of this research is to develop a design process for origami-adapted products and demonstrate it using aerospace mechanism examples. Origami-adapted design is a type of origami-based design. Origami-based design ranges from abstract to concrete applications of origami to design and includes: origami-inspired design, origami-adapted design, and origami-applied design. Origami-adapted design adapts origami fold patterns into products while preserving functionality. Some of the desirable attributes of origami that are sought after in design include: 1) reduced number of parts, 2) stowability, 3) deployability, 4) transportability, 5) manufacturability from a flat sheet of material, 6) ease of miniaturization, 7) a single manufacturing technique (folding) and 8) low material volume and mass. The proposed origami-adapted design process has four steps: define the problem, identify an origami solution, modify the fold pattern, and integrate. Intermediate steps apply tools to analyze and modify the origami fold pattern according to the design requirements. The first step defines whether origami is a viable solution by evaluating a set of starting criteria. Once it has been determined that origami is a viable solution, the design process guides the designer through a series of steps that modify the origami crease pattern until the final design is reached. The origami-adapted design process is applied to the design of three aerospace mechanism examples: an origami bellows, an expandable habitat, and a deployable parabolic antenna. The design process is followed throughout the design of these aerospace mechanisms. The origami bellows is designed and tested as a highly compressible origami bellows for harsh environments. It can be designed to endure 100,000+ cycles in fatigue and underwent testing for thermal cycling, abrasion, and radiation. The second example is a proof-of-concept expandable habitat for implementation as a module on the International Space Station. The design process aides in selecting an origami crease pattern and modifying it for thick, rigid materials. The last example is a deployable parabolic antenna. It is based on the flasher fold pattern with a wedge of the pattern removed to create curvature. It is experimentally verified to be approximately parabolic. The examples are shown to follow the origami-adapted design process and that the design process is flexible to accommodate a design's needs.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





design process, origami-adapted design, origami, parabolic antenna, bellows, origami classification