Date of Award

Summer 8-23-2019

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering


Masoud Rais-Rohani

Second Committee Member

Bill Davids

Third Committee Member

Vincent Caccese


Origami-inspired design is a growing field with numerous engineering applications, including rapidly compactable and erectable shelters with nondeformed flat panels, which are considered in this research. Shelter geometry is controlled by the shape, size, and connectivity of individual panels that must fold and unfold in a kinematically compliant manner resulting in no panel intersection. Panel size and shape are altered to yield shelter designs with varying volumetric capacities. Thin panels are initially used to study the kinematics of shelter concepts as traditional origami. With increasing panel thickness, the location of fold or hinge lines exerts a large influence on the connectivity of the shelter panels and their nesting to accommodate folding kinematics and flat-foldability. The method of virtual work is used to determine the erection energy and load requirements based on the location and direction of an applied load. Mechanical advantage is achieved by incorporating torsion springs that can deform to store energy when the structure is folded. The analytical model developed is verified using a rigid body dynamics solver. In addition to the mechanical and geometric properties, the location of each spring is found to affect the level of mechanical advantage that can be achieved. A sequential sizing optimization approach is used to first optimize the preferred shelter concept with fiber-reinforced thermoplastic sandwich panels followed by sizing optimization of the accompanying spring system. A finite element model of the shelter is developed for static and buckling analyses as well as structural sizing optimization under multiple load cases. The results of this research indicate that origami-inspired shelters can be designed and optimized to meet the operational and transportation requirements with high degree of efficiency.

Approved for Public Release - CCDC SC PAO#: U19-1418

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