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  • engineers are turning to origami for inspiration for all types of applications, from medical devices to space applications and even stopping bullets.

  • But why is it that this ancient art of paper folding is so useful for modern engineering?

  • Origami, literally folding paper dates back at least 400 years in Japan, but the number of designs was limited.

  • There were only a handful of patterns, maybe 100 200 total in Japan.

  • Nowadays, there are tens of thousands that have been documented, and most of that change happened in the 20th century.

  • There were a handful of Japanese origami masters, and by far the most successful of them was a man named a curio.

  • She's Allah, who created thousands of new designs, wrote many, many books of his works, and his work inspired a worldwide renaissance of origami creativity.

  • Well, I wanted to fold a cactus.

  • The first thing one needed to do is figure out.

  • How do I get spines on a cactus?

  • So you can imagine if I can make two spines here.

  • I could do the same thing to make the whole row.

  • Then I can go back, do a complete design.

  • That's what this were?

  • Uh huh.

  • And And this is actually the cactus in the pot from a single sheet of paper.

  • The papers green on one side, red on the other.

  • That whole thing is this thing.

  • So this is this is one uncut square of paper.

  • How big was that piece of paper?

  • And this is about a one meter square.

  • So there is a huge amount of size reduction to go from a meter down to here.

  • But you need that to get all of the spines.

  • And how long did that take to make that took about seven years from start to finish?

  • Wow, Why is origami this thing that was created for aesthetics?

  • Mainly Why is it so useful, I guess, is the question for for like, you know, structural things that were for mechanical engineering or for space applications like, Why does it find itself in so many of these applications?

  • Why is it so useful?

  • The thing that makes origami useful is it is a way of transforming a flat sheet into some other shape with relatively little processing.

  • This is a folded pattern.

  • Uh, it's called a triangulated cylinder.

  • It is by stable meaning.

  • It's stable into positions.

  • This is one.

  • And then if I give it a twist, this is the other.

  • This really has a bunch of by stable mechanisms in it because I can You can see how it sort of pops into place.

  • But if you combine the two mechanisms going in different directions, then you get the sort of magical color change.

  • Yeah, that's impressive.

  • So you look at this and you say, OK, that is a cute paper toy.

  • Is it anything more than that?

  • And the answer is yes.

  • Does that turn into that?

  • That turns into that?

  • Yep.

  • We're working with a company called Intuitive Surgical that does the Da Vinci Surgical robot, where they wanted to be able to insert a flexible catheter with with the robot.

  • But flexible catheters tend to buckle and stuffs.

  • We have felt these origami bellows that look down there.

  • There's a hole that no matter how far we move this, that that stays the same size on the inside.

  • And what that means is we could put the catheter in there.

  • And as the catheter moves and is getting inserted into the body, it's still has supports along the way.

  • or for another example.

  • Here I have a foldable, bulletproof, collapsible walk.

  • It's based on the Yoshimura crease pattern.

  • Just sort of a bulletproof material could be very compact being a police officer's car and deploy out.

  • But would it actually work?

  • Well, they've put it to the test using 12 layers of Kevlar.

  • It can stop bullets from a handgun, and a new design featuring interchangeable panels should be able to stop rifle rounds.

  • Those in that vial that is closer.

  • Actually, bullets that have been stopped by origami, an intrinsic benefit of origami is that the simple act of folding of material can make it more rigid.

  • I'm gonna ask you about this more, but I was going to say it's a way of making the can stronger without actually like thinner metal.

  • But for engineering applications, the more common challenge is had a bold, thick, rigid materials.

  • This is Polly Pro plane.

  • Okay, very Richard.

  • There's no way that I'm going to be ableto fold that into this vortex.

  • So this is an example.

  • It shows a couple things surrogate folds we can use to replace the creases, and then also that public piece of probably profiling folds up, and it also accommodates the thickness by cutting or scoring materials and adding hinges as necessary, thick, rigid materials can, in effect, be folded.

  • This is useful, for example, in deploying solar panels.

  • This pattern is perhaps the granddaddy of deployable structures.

  • It's called the Mirror, or it's been used for solar rays.

  • In fact, it was one of the first patterns that flew on a space mission back in 1995 who was called the Space Flyer Mission.

  • As you see here, it all opens and closes in a single motion, and when it flattens, it's It's very thin and compact.

  • It's a fun pattern called the origami Flasher.

  • On you get, uh, interesting flash emotion.

  • This'll has been proposed as a design for a satellite solar arrays, increasing compactness for lunch and reliability in deployment.

  • A new area for origami research is in improving the aerodynamics of freaked locomotives, saying, Last great look about this is, you know, they're just like bricks going down.

  • Tracks for their aerodynamics were horrible.

  • Ideally, I'd like to have a nose cone on front of freed look morning to improve aerodynamics, but you can't because we're like legal blocks there hooked up anywhere along the train.

  • You don't know if it's the 1st 1 of the second letter of the 3rd 1 Here's, uh, scale prototype showing a pattern that we demonstrated on a freight locomotive.

  • It folds up to be very flat but then deploys out, and it turns out our computer models and wind tunnel testing show that this will save this one company multiple millions of dollars a year.

  • This is a violinist was one of my favorite mechanism designs because he fiddles if you pull his head.

  • Fantastic.

  • Functional motions of origami are inspiring new designs for devices like compliant mechanisms that can complete full 360 degree rotations.

  • Unlike a traditional mechanisms with Barings or Hinges, I can hook on a motor and I could get continuous revolution.

  • I can do that with a compliant mechanism, but it turns out no one bothered to tell the paper folders that on Dhe created a continuously revolving compliant mechanism which is called a collider cycle.

  • Origami emotions are also being used in medical devices.

  • These would be, you know, the creases in the paper on we have here now forceps, and so it's nice about this is we could put this on a smaller scale right on medical instrument, go into the body.

  • But thinking, morph and become the groupers would be very small incision but go into s'more complex tasks inside the body.

  • A variant of this mini gripper is now being used in robotic surgeries, replacing the previous mechanism and reducing the number of parts by 75%.

  • The origami inspired device is smaller, but with a wider range of motion and functional origami can be miniaturized even further.

  • This is the world's smallest origami flapping bird.

  • Sounds cool.

  • This one was devoted to developing techniques to make microscopic self folding origami on.

  • What you see here is a microscope photo of the finished bird, but what the bird actually looks like.

  • Well, I'll need my mackerel, and you'll probably need not just your macro lens.

  • You'll need your microscope because it's smaller than a grain of salt.

  • So it started out it was a bit less than a millimeter square, but when it's folded, it's much, much smaller.

  • Wow, Now you might ask yourself, What would anyone ever use a microscopic flapping bird for?

  • And the answer is, well, nothing for a flapping bird.

  • But there are medical devices, medical applications, implants that are microscopic where you might want a little machine.

  • This is a nano injector used in gene therapy to deliver Deanna to cells.

  • It's on Lee four micro meters thick, so 400 of them can fit onto a one centimeter wide computer chip.

  • There's something standing kind of look of its star wars to me.

  • Yes, it's are called elliptic infinity.

  • And we wanted to do that.

  • And material other than paper.

  • You see this, uh, from flat into that elliptic infinity shape.

  • This is actually a lamp that's made from a single sheet.

  • So it comes in an envelope like this.

  • It's cable in fold.

  • It had a clip.

  • Now this relies on a lot of math.

  • The curvature of these lines effects links, the bending and curvature here to here.

  • To here, all of these air coupled and pretty much the only way to design them and get all the folds to play together is by following mathematical methods.

  • My professional background is mathematics and physics.

  • I did laser physics for 15 years as a profession.

  • I got my PhD in applied physics and My kind of my job in many cases was to figure out how to describe lasers mathematically.

  • And if I could put my problem in the mathematical language, then I could rely on the tools of mathematics to solve those problems and to accomplish the goals.

  • But I also felt like origami would be amenable to that same approach.

  • So I started trying to figure out how to describe origami using the tools of mathematics and that worked.

  • I'm sort of fascinated about the math here, like it's hard for me to conceive of.

  • Like, what does that math look like?

  • The math comes down to, Ah, a way of representing a design called a crease pattern.

  • Let me grab a couple of weeks patterns.

  • Okay, so this is an organ increase pattern.

  • That's plan for how to fold in this case, how to fold a scorpion.

  • A really good way of designing something like this is to represent every feature claw leg tail by a circular region, a circular shape.

  • Um, it's not circular folds, it's an abstract.

  • It's an abstract concept that you represent the pattern by a circle.

  • But then you find on arrangement of those circles on the square like packing balls into a box.

  • So for the scorpion, you've got a long tail.

  • Imagine a big circle like a big tin can, and the legs are smaller circles or circles of different sizes.

  • So you've got different.

  • Smaller cans in the claws are a couple more circles, and you're gonna put them into a square box in such a way that they all fit.

  • So you packed circles into the box, and, ah, the arrangement of those circles tells you the the skeleton of the crease pattern.

  • And from that you can geometrically construct all the crease patterns you follow rules.

  • Put a line between the center of every pair of circles, Um, and then whenever any two lines meet in a V, you add a fold.

  • Halfway in between is called a Ridge fold and their similar, more complicated rules for adding more and more lines.

  • But the thing is, it's all step by step.

  • It says it.

  • If you find this geometric pattern that tells you where to add the next line, and you go through that process until you've constructed all the lines and when you're done, you can take away the circles.

  • They were the scaffolding for your mattering, and the pattern of lines that's left is are the folds you need to create the shape, And that's what's shown here.

  • And this was probably the biggest revolution in the world of origami design was if you followed that systematic process, the fold pattern would give you the exact shape that you set out to fool.

  • To begin with this circle packing method that I described, This works for anything that can be represented as a stick figure, like a scorpion you could draw.

  • This is a stick figure with a lying for the body and tail lines for each of the legs, lines for the claws and from that stick figure from any stick figure you can.

  • You circle packing and get a shape that folds it.

  • But suppose the thing you're folding is not stick figure.

  • Suppose it's something that's more like a surface, like a sphere or a cloud or or just in animal terms, a big blobby body like an elephant stick figure algorithms not going to work, but there are other algorithms for that.

  • About 10 years ago, a Japanese mathematician named Tomohiro Tachi developed a new algorithm that works for any surface.

  • You give it triangulated surface as a mathematical description, and he will give you or his algorithm will give you the folding pattern that folds into that surface.

  • It's now quite famous, and it's called organizer, and that is a way you could make a sheet of anything and take on any three dimensional shape.

  • So origami is useful in engineering because it provides a method of taking a flat sheet of material in forming it into virtually any shape by folding or if the end product is flat, Origami offers a way to reduce its dimensions while still deploying easily.

  • The simple act of folding can increase rigidity, or origami can take advantage of the flexibility of materials to create specific motions.

  • And its principles are scalable, enabling the miniaturization of devices.

  • Perhaps most of all, origami allows engineers to piggyback on the bright ideas people have had over the centuries while experimenting with folding paper.

  • But translating these ideas into practical solutions requires a lot of math, modeling and experimentation.

  • You really warm?

  • Hey, this episode of air tasking was supported by viewers like you on Patri on and by audible you know, I'm about to take a trip to Australia with the whole family and on that long flight, if everything is going well, I'll be listening to Audible.

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  • For example, this book starts off by addressing the phenomenon of Bitcoin and Schiller's central thesis is that in addition to all the traditional factors thought to affect the economy, it is the narratives that go viral, the stories that take hold that are instrumental in determining human behavior and, therefore economic outcomes.

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engineers are turning to origami for inspiration for all types of applications, from medical devices to space applications and even stopping bullets.

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折り紙を使ったエンジニアリング (Engineering with Origami)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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