Today most origami crease patterns used in technical applications are selected from a handful of well-known origami principles. Computational algorithms capable of generating novel crease patterns either target artistic origami, focus on quadrilateral creased paper, or do not incorporate direct knowledge for the purposeful design of crease patterns tailored to engineering applications. The lack of computational methods for the generative design of crease patterns for engineering applications arises from a multitude of geometric complexities intrinsic to origami, such as rigid foldability and rigid body modes (RBMs), many of which have been addressed by recent work of the authors. Based on these findings, in this paper we introduce a Computational Design Synthesis (CDS) method for the generative design of novel crease patterns to develop origami concepts for engineering applications. The proposed method first generates crease pattern graphs through a graph grammar that automatically builds the kinematic model of the underlying origami and introduces constraints for rigid foldability. Then, the method enumerates all design alternatives that arise from the assignment of different rigid body modes to the internal vertices. These design alternatives are then automatically optimized and checked for intersection to satisfy the given design task. The proposed method is generic and applied here to two design tasks that are a rigidly foldable gripper and a rigidly foldable robotic arm.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues