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SELF-FOLDING

Self-folding of polymer sheets using local light absorption
by Skylar Tibbits & Vernelle A. A. Noel,
Jan. 2013, Singapore
Shrinky-Dink, Heat Lamps, Black Ink

 

Optically transparent, pre-strained polystyrene sheets (also known as Shrinky-Dink) shrinks in-plane if heated uniformly. We used black ink Sharpies and patterned both sides of the polymer sheet. This provides localized absorption of light, which heats the underlying polymer above its glass transition. At these temperatures, the inked regions relax and shrink, causing the sheet to fold into a three-dimensional object.

vernelle_noel

Sheet after marking and exposing to heat lamp

Another design

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Vernelle A. A. Noel