Nonlinear mechanics of non-rigid origami: An efficient computational approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


Origami-inspired designs possess attractive applications to science and engineering (e.g. deployable, self-assembling, adaptable systems). The special geometric arrangement of panels and creases gives rise to unique mechanical properties of origami, such as reconfigurability, making origami designs well suited for tunable structures. Although often being ignored, origami structures exhibit additional soft modes beyond rigid folding due to the flexibility of thin sheets that further influence their behaviour. Actual behaviour of origami structures usually involves significant geometric nonlinearity, which amplifies the influence of additional soft modes. To investigate the nonlinear mechanics of origami structures with deformable panels, we present a structural engineering approach for simulating the nonlinear response of non-rigid origami structures. In this paper, we propose a fully nonlinear, displacement-based implicit formulation for performing static/quasi-static analyses of nonrigid origami structures based on 'bar-and-hinge' models. The formulation itself leads to an efficient and robust numerical implementation. Agreement between real models and numerical simulations demonstrates the ability of the proposed approach to capture key features of origami behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2206
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Mathematics


  • Bar-and-hinge model
  • Elastic deformations
  • Large deformation
  • Large displacement
  • Nonlinear analysis
  • Origami


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonlinear mechanics of non-rigid origami: An efficient computational approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this