Spherical images and inextensible curved folding.

04 Jun 2018

In their study, Duncan and Duncan [Proc. R. Soc. London A 383, 191 (1982)1364-502110.1098/rspa.1982.0126] calculate the shape of an inextensible surface folded in two about a general curve. They find the analytical relationships between pairs of generators linked across the fold curve, the shape of the original path, and the fold angle variation along it. They present two special cases of generator layouts for which the fold angle is uniform or the folded curve remains planar, for simplifying practical folding in sheet-metal processes. We verify their special cases by a graphical treatment according to a method of Gauss. We replace the fold curve by a piecewise linear path, which connects vertices of intersecting pairs of hinge lines. Inspired by the d-cone analysis by Farmer and Calladine [Int. J. Mech. Sci. 47, 509 (2005)IMSCAW0020-740310.1016/j.ijmecsci.2005.02.013], we construct the spherical images for developable folding of successive vertices: the operating conditions of the special cases in Duncan and Duncan are then revealed straightforwardly by the geometric relationships between the images. Our approach may be used to synthesize folding patterns for novel deployable and shape-changing surfaces without need of complex calculation.