lamina emergent torsional joints, torsional joints, surrogate folds, mechanical engineering, membrane enhanced


Lamina emergent compliant mechanisms (including origami-adapted compliant mechanisms) are mechanical devices that can be fabricated from a planar material (a lamina) and have motion that emerges out of the fabrication plane. Lamina emergent compliant mechanisms often exhibit undesirable parasitic motions due to the planar fabrication constraint. This work introduces a type of lamina emergent torsion (LET) joint that reduces parasitic motions of lamina emergent mechanisms (LEMs), and presents equations for modeling parasitic motion of LET joints. The membrane joint also makes possible one-way joints that can ensure origami-based mechanisms emerge from their flat state (a change point) into the desired configuration. Membrane enhanced LET joints, including one-way surrogate folds, are described here and show promise for use in a wide range of compliant mechanisms and origami-based compliant mechanisms. They are demonstrated as individual joints and in mechanisms such as a kaleidocycle (a 6R Bricard linkage), degree-4 origami vertices (spherical mechanisms), and waterbomb base mechanisms (an 8R multi-degree-of-freedom origami-based mechanism).

Original Publication Citation

Chen, G., Magleby, S.P., and Howell, L.L., “Membrane-enhanced Lamina Emergent Torsional Joints for Surrogate Folds,” Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol. 140, 062303-1 to 062303-10, DOI: 10.1115/1.4039852, 2018.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Mechanical Design




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor