Pneumatic Origami Joints

A 3D Printed Flexible Joint
  • Heng Lu
  • Daekwon ParkEmail author
  • Chen Liu
  • Guohua JiEmail author
  • Ziyu TongEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1028)


This paper describes the design and fabrication process of an adaptive joint using foldable 3D printed structures encased in heat-sealed synthetic polymer films (e.g. airtight plastic casing). The proposed joint can be pneumatically actuated using the airtight casing, and the shape of the deformation can be controlled using origami-inspired 3D printed structures. A zigzag-gap microstructure is designed for the connection portion of the origami structure inside the joint, in order that the rigid 3D printed material (PLA) acquires properties of mollusk material, such as flexibility and softness. Finally, the paper presents some applications adopting pneumatic origami joints which can interact with people or adapting indoor environment, and compares the advantages of this pneumatic technology with mechanical technology.


3D printing Adaptive joint Pneumatic architecture Origami structure 



The research was conducted as a workshop project of the NJU IPTP program, under the supervision of Prof. Daekwon Park from MATR (Material Archi-Tectonic Research) Lab & Studio in Syracuse University, Huayin Zhong, research assistant of NJU, Guohua Ji, dean of NJU and Ziyu Tong, director of Digital Fabrication and Construction Lab in NJU. This research was also supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (51578277).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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