The whole world knows about the art of paper folding right from the time they are as young as in kindergarten. The art of origami has a lot of prevalent because of the simplicity that it portrays and the ease in which, the projects can be completed. While everyone knows about origami, very few know or even realize that it has a close cousin called Kirigami. While the terminology might be new and strange, when one understands that it is rather about cutting paper and using it in art, it becomes more apparent. The art is what is used in pop-up books that were very popular during the 80s. The researchers from Harvard took this ancient art form and married it to mathematics and were pleasantly surprised with the results they were able to achieve. They managed to use math and decipher a way to cut the paper so that it can match absolutely any three-dimensional shapes that are needed. Yes, that is quite fascinating, and mathematicians and artists alike have been fascinated by the discovery.
Marrying Math and Kirigami
The main reason that the researchers decided to divulge into the research behind Kirigami and Math is to see how they could apply the principles in engineering. By creating flexible shapes that can be constructed, they were able to see how amazing the results can be. They started by uncovering the basics of Kirigami and how mathematics could be applied to its principles. They then cerated algorithms that allowed them to design anything based on a number, orientation, or even size. They simply had to cut the sheet into the required quantity and get started with the creation. Any shape that is needed can be fed into the algorithm to come up with the final shape using cut patterns all in one go. They are also able to identify any constraints that they might have when cutting the paper. The optimized numerical approach to cutting the paper has been fool-proof in creating something that was never possible before.
Applications of The New Mathematical Kirigami Algorithm
The possibilities of how this can be used are boundless. However, one that stands out the most is for foldable shelter. Housing necessities and architectural structures will find a lot of relief and innovation, thanks to this new finding. Imagine if you can have foldable skyscrapers or even quick to construct housing for people who have been struck by disasters. The environmental and labor cost of doing something is now a possibility, thanks to this new finding. There are a massive variety of 3d shapes that can be recreated now.
This new finding is at a very early stage, and there is little known about how far it can apply. But from what is seen so far, there seems to be a solution for emergency response teams and the engineering industry as a whole. However, the researchers have hope that by the use of geometry, computation, and topology, there would be a lot more possibilities that are yet to be uncovered, for its use. Things would get even more impressive when the researchers can marry origami, Kirigami as well as math to come up with shapes and flexible frameworks.