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ORI* On the Aesthetics of Folding and Technology
Abstract and Figures
The art of oribotics involves a process of imagining and creating geometry for static and kinetic origami structures to fit a desired form. It is a two-fold difficult task. Firstly, tools for calculating the geometry are few, and those existing lack key aesthetic and functional criteria specific to my artistic practice. Secondly, material issues, such as durability and complex foldability, compound the issues for fabrication. Existing methods, even those applying digital fabrication, pose complex folding problems that confound origami experts. Case studies are provided of leading origamists working with software, fabrication and materials to analyse and summarise processes. Analysis of these led to the synthesis and identification of differentiating criteria that inspired the invention of two key methods: Fold-Mapping and Fold-Printing. Fold-Mapping abstracts naturally occurring origami patterns into fold-molecules for tessellation across target geometric surfaces. It allows an artist to prioritise the sculptural shape of the result while seeking a kinetic solution through experimentation with different fold-molecules. A developability algorithm then flattens the crease pattern into geometry for fabrication. Fold-Printing allows the fabrication of Fold-Mapping results. It includes results of high-order complex-foldability by 3D printing whereby polymers are deposited onto textiles forming a durable polymer plate-structure separated by perfect textile hinges. Evaluation of the methods is two-fold. Firstly, the methods were continuously evaluated and refined through invention based trial-and-error. Secondly, the artefacts were evaluated according to a set of aesthetic criteria which in this thesis are collectively called ORI* theory. ORI* theory includes origami and oribotic criteria, and a metric for complex-foldability. For proof of concept, the methods are presented as an evaluated set of successful traits and developed solutions. These produce developable crease patterns from target geometries and afford the fabrication and foldability of complex ORI* objects. Fold-Printing allows near impossible-to-fold patterns to become foldable objects. The methods do not succeed in all circumstances, and that success is additionally dependent on the author’s experience of origami structures. The aesthetic qualities and material properties of the artistic results have distinct qualities that qualify them to meet the particular criteria required for ORI* objects. The thesis concludes with the proposing of future work: 1) in the direction of soft-robotic applications using both Fold-Mapping and Fold-Printing methods, and 2) the creation of enhanced aesthetic and technical ORI* objects across many disciplinary domains.
Figures - uploaded by Matthew Gardiner
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