Origami–inspired designs are being explored extensively for structural and material applications in a variety of different engineering fields because of their attractive kinematic and mechanical properties, design flexibility, and multi-functionality. However, most if not all of these studies have focused on translational motions. Utilizing origami in replacing or enhancing torsional components, such as joints, shafts and motors, has received little attention. With this in mind, this research introduces an origami-inspired rotational element via a coupled Kresling modular design (CKMD). Two Kresling origami modules with opposite chirality are integrated, achieving pure rotational motion between two ends of polygon surfaces. A model with nondimensionalized parameters is developed and a key design variable (natural height ratio) is varied to investigate the kinematic and mechanical properties of CKMD. Results show that these properties can be tailored by strategic selection of the natural height ratio, which alters the energy landscapes of both Kresling modules and leads to qualitatively distinct mechanical responses. Further investigation shows that the rotational stability characteristics of CKMD — monostability, symmetric and asymmetric bistability — may be programmed in a similar manner. Design guidelines are discussed, and the outcomes lay the foundation for integrating programmable, origami-inspired, rotational components in mechanical systems.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.