Shape-Shifting Sheets

August 22, 2019
sheet of paper with kiribati tessellations

Researchers [led by Prof. L. Mahadevan] have developed a mathematical framework that can turn any sheet of material into any prescribed shape, inspired by the paper craft kirigami (from the Japanese, kiri, meaning to cut and kami, meaning paper). Unlike its better-known cousin origami, which uses folds to shape paper, kirigami relies on a pattern of cuts in a flat paper sheet to change its flexibility and allow it to morph into 3D shapes. Artists have long used this artform to create everything from pop-up cards to castles and dragons.

"We asked if it is possible to uncover the basic mathematical principles underlying kirigami and use them to create algorithms that would allow us to design the number, size and orientation of the cuts in a flat sheet so that it can morph into any given shape," said L. Mahadevan, de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, Physics, and Organismic and Evolutionary Biology...

Continue reading "Shape-shifting sheets: Mathematical framework turns any sheet of material into any shape using kirigami cuts" by Lea Burrows on seas.harvard.edu, August 20, 2019. https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2019/08/shape-shifting-sheets.

Read the original article: Gary P. T. Choi, Levi H. Dudte, & L. Mahadevan, "Programming shape using kirigami tessellations ,"Nature Materials 18 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-019-0452-y