Origami-inspired sacrificial joints for folding compliant mechanisms

Todd G. Nelson, Alex Avila, Larry L. Howell, Just L. Herder, Davood Farhadi Machekposhti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Folding is a manufacturing method which can create complex 3D geometries from flat materials and can be particularly useful in cost-sensitive or planar-limited fabrication applications. This paper introduces compliant mechanisms that employ folding techniques from origami to evolve from a flat material to deployed state. We present origami-inspired sacrificial joints, joints which have mobility during assembly of the mechanism but are rigid in their final position, to create regions of high and low stiffness and the proper alignment of compliant flexures in folded mechanisms. To demonstrate the method we fold steel sheet to create some well-known and complex compliant mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-210
JournalMechanism and Machine Theory
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Applied origami
  • Compliant mechanisms
  • Folding
  • Sacrificial joints


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