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An Origami Inspired Additive Manufacturing Process for Building Thin-Shell Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
Dongping Deng, Yong Chen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. IMECE2013-65720, pp. V02AT02A016; 9 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2A: Advanced Manufacturing
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5618-5
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Additive manufacturing (AM) process is widely used in fabricating three-dimensional (3D) models with complex internal features due to its flexibility and fast building speed. Inspired by the recent development of origami structures, we investigate a super-fast AM process for fabricating prototype models of hollow shapes. By combining the origami design and the additive manufacturing technology, a new fabrication process named Assembled Additive Manufacturing (AAM) is developed. A folding technique is used either during or after the layer-based fabrication process. By turning a 3D structure into a foldable two-dimensional (2D) structure, the fabrication speed is dramatically increased due to the decreased number of layers that is required in the building process. Detailed procedures of the AAM process such as unfolding algorithms of an input model, foldable structure design and folding mechanism are introduced in the paper. Experimental tests are also presented to illustrate the effective and efficiency of the AAM process.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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