Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
Research article
04 Mar 2019
Research article |  | 04 Mar 2019

Origami fold states: concept and design tool

Alex Avila, Spencer P. Magleby, Robert J. Lang, and Larry L. Howell

Abstract. The ability of origami to alter its properties and behaviors with its shape makes it an elegant source of inspiration for many engineering designs challenges. Fold states specify the shape of the origami – its facets, creases, and fold angles. Origami research recognizes several acknowledged fold states: the unfolded, fully folded, and flat-folded states. However, these fold states are not comprehensive, excluding some of the most predominant fold states in origami-based devices. In this paper we propose a comprehensive list of fold states based on fold angles. We support the method of categorizing fold states by evaluating the functions and fold states of a large sample of origami-based devices. These correlations provide insight for selecting fold states for origami-based design. We discuss properties and behaviors of the fold states individually and provide a process for fold-state selection.

Short summary
Origami is a powerful and elegant tool that can be used by engineers to overcome challenges. The shape of the origami is essential to this. We categorize the shapes (fold states) of origami into seven classifications. This categorization method is supported by analyzing 69 origami-based devices for correlations between the classification and the types of functions they perform. These correlations can be used to design and select origami fold states.