A conventional paper crane is an undertaking of artistry. Every wrinkle in origami cues the transformation of a single sheet of paper into a bird, a dragon, or a flower. Origami prohibits gluing, marking, or cutting the paper; however, in the art of kirigami, strategically placed cuts can modify the shape of the paper, even more, building complex structures from simple cuts. A prominent example of this is a pop-up book, where relying on how the flat paper is cut, a distinct set of shapes like a heart, a frog, a group of skyscrapers, etc., will occur when the book is opened.
In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, a cross-disciplinary squad of researchers at USC, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Stony Brook University developed a new mathematical equation for classifying the nature of kirigami-inspired materials to correctly predict how they will change positions when pushed or pulled. The team comprises USC Assistant Professor Paul Plucinsky and Post-doctoral Fellow Yue Zheng; University of Illinois-Chicago Assistant Professor Ian Tobasco; Stony Brook University Assistant Professor Paolo Celli and Graduate Research Assistant Imtiar Niloy.
Plucinsky announced that “The geometry of these materials is tuned somewhat arbitrarily. So we need rules about how you might choose the architectures that you’re going to fabricate. Once you have those rules, you also need to be able to model the system so you make some reasonable prediction of how it will deform when pushed or pulled.”