Creating Linkage Permutations to Prevent Self-Intersection and Enable Deployable Networks of Thick-Origami


permutations, self-intersections, deployable networks, thick origami, origami, compliant mechanisms, mechanical engineering


Origami concepts show promise for creating complex deployable systems. However, translating origami to thick (non-paper) materials introduces challenges, including that thick panels do not flex to facilitate folding and the chances for self-intersection of components increase. This work introduces methods for creating permutations of linkage-based, origami-inspired mechanisms that retain desired kinematics but avoid self-intersection and enable their connection into deployable networks. Methods for reconfiguring overconstrained linkages and implementing them as modified origami-inspired mechanisms are proved and demonstrated for multiple linkage examples. Equations are derived describing the folding behavior of these implementations. An approach for designing networks of linkage-based origami vertices is demonstrated and applications for tessellations are described. The results offer the opportunity to exploit origami principles to create deployable systems not previously feasible.

Original Publication Citation

"Yellowhorse, A., Lang. R.J., Tolman, K.A., Howell, L.L., “Creating Linkage Permutations to Prevent Self- Intersection and Enable Deployable Networks of Thick-Origami,” Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, paper 12936, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-31180-4, 2018."

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL





Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor