Pneumatic Origami Joints: A 3D Printed Flexible Joint

Heng Lu, Daekwon Park, Chen Liu, Guohua Ji, Ziyu Tong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution


This paper describes the design and fabrication process of an adaptive joint using foldable 3D printed structures encased in heat-sealed synthetic polymer films (e.g. airtight plastic casing). The proposed joint can be pneumatically actuated using the airtight casing, and the shape of the deformation can be controlled using origami-inspired 3D printed structures. A zigzag-gap microstructure is designed for the connection portion of the origami structure inside the joint, in order that the rigid 3D printed material (PLA) acquires properties of mollusk material, such as flexibility and softness. Finally, the paper presents some applications adopting pneumatic origami joints which can interact with people or adapting indoor environment, and compares the advantages of this pneumatic technology with mechanical technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer-Aided Architectural Design. “Hello, Culture” - 18th International Conference, CAAD Futures 2019, Selected Papers
EditorsJi-Hyun Lee
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9789811384097
StatePublished - 2019
Event18th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Futures, CAAD Futures 2019 - Daejeon, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Jun 26 2019Jun 28 2019

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference18th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Futures, CAAD Futures 2019
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • 3D printing
  • Adaptive joint
  • Origami structure
  • Pneumatic architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Mathematics


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