Triclinic Metamaterials by Tristable Origami with Reprogrammable Frustration

Ke Liu, Phanisri P. Pratapa, Diego Misseroni, Tomohiro Tachi, Glaucio H. Paulino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Geometrical-frustration-induced anisotropy and inhomogeneity are explored to achieve unique properties of metamaterials that set them apart from conventional materials. According to Neumann's principle, to achieve anisotropic responses, the material unit cell should possess less symmetry. Based on such guidelines, a triclinic metamaterial system of minimal symmetry is presented, which originates from a Trimorph origami pattern with a simple and insightful geometry: a basic unit cell with four tilted panels and four corresponding creases. The intrinsic geometry of the Trimorph origami, with its changing tilting angles, dictates a folding motion that varies the primitive vectors of the unit cell, couples the shear and normal strains of its extrinsic bulk, and leads to an unusual Poisson effect. Such an effect, associated with reversible auxeticity in the changing triclinic frame, is observed experimentally, and predicted theoretically by elegant mathematical formulae. The nonlinearities of the folding motions allow the unit cell to display three robust stable states, connected through snapping instabilities. When the tristable unit cells are tessellated, phenomena that resemble linear and point defects emerge as a result of geometric frustration. The frustration is reprogrammable into distinct stable and inhomogeneous states by arbitrarily selecting the location of a single or multiple point defects. The Trimorph origami demonstrates the possibility of creating origami metamaterials with symmetries that are hitherto nonexistent, leading to triclinic metamaterials with tunable anisotropy for potential applications such as wave propagation control and compliant microrobots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2107998
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 26 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


  • geometric frustration
  • multistability
  • origami metamaterials
  • reversible auxeticity
  • triclinic materials


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