Kinetic Hybrid Structure

Responsive Kirigami: Context-Actuated Hinges in Folded Sheet Systems

Jingyang Liu1,2, Jasmine (Chia-Chia) Liu2,3, Madeleine Eggers1,2, and Jenny E. Sabin1,2
1Architecture Cornell University Ithaca, USA
2Sabin Design Lab Cornell University Ithaca, USA
3Material ScienceCornell University Ithaca, USA

This paper explores the possibilities of active kirigami geometry — folding with the addition of strategically placed cuts and holes — through geometry, simulations, and responsive materials exploration.

We have developed a novel method for kirigami pattern design through mesh optimization of surfaces, distribution of tucks across the discretized mesh, and the addition of cut and fold patterns.

Kinetic Hybrid StructureBased on our previous materials research on dual composite kirigami materials in 2016, we propose to focus on both oneway and two-way actuated materials, including shrinky dink films, shape memory alloys, and shape memory polymers.

We have successfully characterized the materials, and as a proof of concept, produced models that utilize the abovementioned materials as environmentally-actuated hinges in folded sheet systems (2D to 3D).

Kinetic Hybrid StructureAs part of two projects funded by the National Science Foundation in the Sabin Design Lab at Cornell University titled, eSkin and Kirigami in Architecture, Technology, and Science (KATS), this paper is one product of ongoing transdisciplinary research spanning across the fields of architecture, bio-engineering, materials science, physics, electrical and systems engineering, and computer science.

Kinetic Hybrid StructureLike origami, the origins of kirigami comes from the art of folding paper, but with the addition of cuts and holes. The word comes from the Japanese kiru, “to cut,” a geometric method and process that brings new techniques, algorithms, and processes for the assembly of open, deployable, and adaptive structural elements and architectural surface assemblies.

We ask, how might architecture respond ecologically and sustainably whereby buildings behave more like organisms in their built environments.

Kinetic Hybrid StructureThis interest probes flexible geometric systems such as kirigami for design models that give rise to new ways of thinking about issues of adaptation, change, and performance in architecture.

Broadly speaking, these models and prototypes engage geometric and biomimetic principles in the synthesis and design of new materials that are adaptive to external inputs, such as heat, light, and human interaction.

With kirigami, we strive to communicate threedimensional (3D) geometry, structures, and features using two-dimensional (2D) representations and sheet systems that follow the concept of “Interact Locally, Fold Globally,” necessary for deployable and scalable architectures.

Kinetic Hybrid StructureIn previous projects, we have produced a room-scale prototype for an adaptive architecture system, which uses a combination of novel surface materials and nitinol linear actuators to react and respond to its environment and inhabitants.

Together, this synthesis of design, material, and kirigami-programming allows a small set of simple actions to manifest complex emergent behaviors.

Kinetic Hybrid StructureIn recent work, we have moved away from cumbersome mechanical systems and energy-heavy complex mechatronics and towards integrated panel-and-hinge assemblies that feature 3D printed programmable geometry and materials capable of controlled, elastic response to stimuli.

In this paper, we document our latest work on kirigami-steered assemblies for adaptive composite systems that are programmable in both one-way and two-way actuated materials, including shrinky dink films, shape memory alloys, and shape memory polymers.

The assemblies with thermal sensitive materials enable context-based actuation in that the actuated hinge is passively actuated by the thermal environment.

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