The shape and mechanics of curved-fold origami structures

Marcelo A. Dias, Christian D. Santangelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We develop recursion equations to describe the three-dimensional shape of a sheet upon which a series of concentric curved folds have been inscribed. In the case of no stretching outside the fold, the three-dimensional shape of a single fold prescribes the shape of the entire origami structure. To better explore these structures, we derive continuum equations, valid in the limit of vanishing spacing between folds, to describe the smooth surface intersecting all the mountain folds. We find that this surface has negative Gaussian curvature with magnitude equal to the square of the fold's torsion. A series of open folds with constant fold angle generate a helicoid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number54005
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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