Actuation performance of fluidic origami cellular structure: A holistic investigation

Hrishikesh Sane (Clemson University)

CHALLENGE - The idea is to assemble tubular Miura-ori modules into a cellular architecture, and apply fluidic pressure to induce folding and hence actuation. Despite the promising potentials, the actuation capabilities of fluidic origami, such as free stroke and block force, are not elucidated. In particular, the effects of the thick facet material stiffness and pressure sealing end caps are not understood. These gaps in our knowledge prevent the practical implementations of fluidic origami.

SOLUTION - This study aims to address these issues by incorporating realistic considerations into the design, fabrication, and analysis of fluidic origami. We construct CAD models of the fluidic origami modules based on realistic design parameters to ensure that they can be fabricated via commercially accessible 3D printers while remaining pressure proof.  Parametric studies discussed in the previous sections clearly indicate that the free stroke and block force performance of the fluidic origami are directly related to the underlying Miura-ori design, and there exists a strong trade-off between these two actuation performance metrics. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the fluidic origami design space more comprehensively. To this end, we conducted a multiple objective design optimization. This optimization problem is highly nonlinear and involves a large amount of variables. The NSGA-II algorithm available in modeFRONTIER software has been employed to identify the globally optimized fluidic origami designs.

BENEFITS - Comparing the results from these different approaches can reveal the influence of thick facet material stiffness and realistic end caps. It is found that the thick facets and end caps reduce the magnitude of free stroke and block force.