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 Paper tubes make stiff origami structures

Paper tubes make stiff origami structures

From shipping and construction to outer space, origami could put a folded twist on structural engineering.

Researchers from the University of Illinois, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo, have developed a new “zippered tube” configuration that makes paper structures that are stiff enough to hold weight yet can fold flat for easy shipping and storage. Their method could be applied to other thin materials, such as plastic or metal, to transform structures from furniture to buildings to microscopic robots. 

“The geometry really plays a role,” said Paulino, a former Illinois professor of civil and environmental engineering. “We are putting two tubes together in a strange way. What we want is a structure that is flexible and stiff at the same time. This is just paper, but it has tremendous stiffness.” 

Click here for source (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Photo: Rob Felt

 

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