Origami-inspired, on-demand deployable and collapsible mechanical metamaterials with tunable stiffness

Zirui Zhai, Yong Wang, Hanqing Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

300 Scopus citations


Origami has been employed to build deployable mechanical metamaterials through folding and unfolding along the crease lines. Deployable metamaterials are usually flexible, particularly along their deploying and collapsing directions, which unfortunately in many cases leads to an unstable deployed state, i.e., small perturbations May collapse the structure along the same deployment path. Here we create an origami-inspired mechanical metamaterial with on-demand deployability and selective collapsibility through energy analysis. This metamaterial has autonomous deployability from the collapsed state and can be selectively collapsed along two different paths, embodying low stiffness for one path and substantially high stiffness for another path. The created mechanical metamaterial yields load-bearing capability in the deployed direction while possessing great deployability and collapsibility. The principle in this work can be utilized to design and create versatile origami-inspired mechanical metamaterials that can find many applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2032-2037
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 27 2018


  • Collapsible
  • Deployable
  • Metamaterials
  • Origami
  • Stiffness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Origami-inspired, on-demand deployable and collapsible mechanical metamaterials with tunable stiffness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this