The engineering world has exploded with recent interest in the craft of origami. This traditional art form most often associated with Japan has become fertile ground for inspiration of devices with applications ranging from medicine to aerospace. What is it about origami that makes it attractive, and why is the origami revolution occurring now? This talk will present an overview of the prominent figures and applications that are currently driving innovation in the field. Engineers and artists alike have come together to develop new techniques that take the practice from paper curiosities to practical engineered devices and systems. Foldable tools are now entering the human body during minimally invasive surgery, and foldable optical structures are being designed for the next generation of space-based telescopes. Mathematicians, material scientists, roboticists, architects, and mechanical designers are all investigating classical origami patterns and inventing new ones, benefiting from the insights and craftsmanship of partnering artist. The resulting software tools are accessible by engineers, tinkerers, and artists alike, some of who then leverage laminated manufacturing techniques to fabricate fully operational systems with embedded electrical components and smart material actuation. While engineering is often influenced by external disciplines, such as biology or aesthetics, the melding of engineering and origami has been uniquely synergistic. The interaction of scientists and artists has mutually benefited both sides: beyond the novel advancements in engineering, the artists themselves are taking back the numerical tools and material innovations, using them to produce revolutionary pieces of balanced complexity and elegance.
Brian Trease, "Origami-inspired engineering: from minimally invasive surgery to exoplanet exploration (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10594, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XX, 1059403 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 05, 2018; Published: 27 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2303739.5758614576001.
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