Professor Suyi Li, Clemson University

Mechanics Under the Fold: How Origami Creates Sophisticated Mechanical Properties
February 1, 2019


ORIGAMI, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, is not only an inspiring technique to create sophisticated shapes but also a surprisingly powerful method to induce nonlinear mechanical properties. Over the last decade, advances in crease design, mechanics modeling, and scalable fabrication have fostered the rapid emergence of architected origami structures and material systems. They typically consist of folded origami sheets or modules with intricate three-dimensional geometries and feature many unique and desirable mechanical properties like auxetics, tunable nonlinear stiffness, multi-stability, and impact absorption. Rich designs in folding offer great freedom to prescribe the performance of such origami structures and materials. In addition, folding offers a unique opportunity for fabrication at vastly different sizes. This talk will highlight our recent studies on the different aspects of origami-based structures and materials – geometric design, mechanics analysis, and achieved properties – and discuss the challenges ahead.


Professor Suyi Li

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. He received his doctorate at the University of Michigan in 2014. After spending two additional years at Michigan as a postdoctoral research fellow, he moved to Clemson in 2016 and established a research group on dynamic matters. His technical interests are in origami-inspired adaptive structures, multi-functional mechanical metamaterials, and bio-inspired robotics. Within his first three years at Clemson, Li has secured more than $1 million of research funding, including the prestigious NSF CAREER award. His paper on fluidic origami received the Best Paper Award from the ASME Branch of Adaptive Structures and Material Systems.