Continuous Manufacturing Process for Folded Sheet Materials

Project Details


The objective of this project is to develop a continuous production manufacturing process for folding flat sheets into complex three dimensions patterns that uses a novel material flow based upon mathematical symmetry. The investigation will involve machine design and construction, and a careful analysis of the mathematical theory of the material folding mechanisms. Previous exploratory research has demonstrated that metal, polymer and paper sheets can folded into doubly periodic surfaces by folding techniques alone, and established the matematical theory to explain the folding process for one class of DPFs and to extend these methods into practical algorithms describing the explicit facet geometry and vertex locations. The focus of this project is to describe mathematically how the material transforms into the intricate three dimensions patterns inside the main roller system of the machine, complete with the knowledge of the migration and instating of fold creases, to enable us to streamline the manufacturing process for rapid and high quality production of these versatile folded structures.

The interdisciplinary effort linking mathematics and engineering will benefit education in both areas with numerous opportunities for advancement of manufacturing integration and applied mathematics exploration.

Effective start/end date9/1/018/31/04


  • National Science Foundation: $345,050.00


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