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Thermorph

Posted by Jürgen Heimbach
We develop a novel method printing complex self-folding geometries. We demonstrated that with a desktop fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer, off-the-shelf printing filaments and a design editor, we can print flat thermoplastic composites and trigger them to self-fold into 3D with arbitrary bending angles. This is a suitable technique, called Thermorph, to prototype hollow and foldable 3D shapes without losing key features. We describe a new curved folding origami design algorithm, compiling given arbitrary 3D models to 2D unfolded models in G-Code for FDM printers. To demonstrate the Thermorph platform, we designed and printed complex self-folding geometries (up to 70 faces), including 15 self- curved geometric primitives and 4 self-curved applications, such as chairs, the simplified Stanford Bunny and flowers. Compared to the standard 3D printing, our method saves up to 60% - 87% of the printing time for all shapes chosen.
Posted October 4, 2018
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