Today our work was published in Nature. Inspired by the structural diversity and foldability of the prismatic geometries that can be constructed using the snapology origami technique, we introduce a robust design strategy based on space-filling tessellations of polyhedra to create three-dimensional reconfigurable materials comprising a periodic assembly of rigid plates and elastic hinges.
Guided by numerical analysis and physical prototypes, we systematically explore the mobility of the designed structures and identify a wide range of qualitatively different deformations and internal rearrangements. Given that the underlying principles are scale-independent, our strategy can be applied to the design of the next generation of reconfigurable structures and materials, ranging from metre-scale transformable architectures to nanometre-scale tunable photonic systems.
As such, we introduce an algorithm allowing the rational design of origami-inspired materials that can be rearranged to change their properties. Paving the way to strategies for making reconfigurable robots.