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Self-folding paper

like e-paper, but for origami
  [vote for,

Why does a piece of paper (or cardboard) stay creased when bent? I imagine it's because of rigid fibers that are broken during the bend.

This product requires one half-baked component, which would be a (probably nanotech-based) fiber about 2-3 mm long that can become rigid or soft on command (speculations on mechanism and links welcome). The sheet of paper would be made out of these sheets glued (or pressed) together, much like traditional paper.

Once a certain "line" of fibers receive the command to crease, (perhaps optically) they would become soft, allowing the user to bend the paper a certain way. The fibers would also have to obey a "reset" command, de-creasing (NOT 'decreasing') the paper.

The only application I can think about is an interactive origami instruction system, but I'm sure others can be found...

cowtamer, Mar 14 2011

Programmable matter by folding http://www.pnas.org...10/06/24/0914069107
[mitxela, Mar 14 2011]

Here's the video http://www.youtube....edded&v=vZf3lo-16wQ
[mitxela, Mar 14 2011]


       // rigid or soft on command (speculations on mechanism and links welcome)// Hehehe... hehe... I can think of one.
daseva, Mar 14 2011

       Cool, programigami.   

       Perhaps you could use an analogy of memory metal, where some physical stimuli (heat or moisture), would return an apparently flat sheet of paper to a complicated folded state.
ldischler, Mar 14 2011

       //rigid or soft on command//   

       A man whom exercises that extent of control over himself is not just a man, [Daseva]. He would be a God.
MikeD, Mar 14 2011

       Mixtela, thanks for the fascinating links. I was thinking more like self-creasing paper that feels like regular paper, but I must admit that the memory metal implementation is cooler (albeit a bit different than what I'm proposing) ...
cowtamer, Mar 14 2011

       Mmm. The other end of the spectrum is using a laser cutter or laser etcher to score lines into paper - I once had the chance to do this, and it worked very well once the depth was set right. Not exactly resettable though.
mitxela, Mar 14 2011

       I think most of the applications would be self-UNfolding. Space stuff, an' stuff an' shit like that (apologies to Armstrong and Miller), that needs to be compactly transported. I seem to remember Rob Lang was designing a solar sail along these lines. I think it was bimetallic in design.
4whom, Mar 14 2011

       Of course, designing these space things to self-fold might mitigate against the "unfriendly parachute packer" problem.
4whom, Mar 14 2011

       Then again, self folding parachutes might be a good application, in itself.
4whom, Mar 14 2011

       I thought so.
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