2, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, United States
3, University of Aizu, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, Japan
4, TU Wien, Vienna, , Austria
By taking advantage of the warpage that is commonly considered as a defect of desktop fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers, we demonstrated that with an FDM printer, offthe-shelf printing filaments and a design editor, we can print flat thermoplastic composites and trigger them to self-fold into 3D. In theory, any arbitrary 3D shapes are possible to be produced with this method; in practice, despite the limitations of the print size and resolution, we demonstrate the successful self-folding of complex geometries including polyhedrons, chairs, flowers and the Stanford bunny. Compared to the standard 3D printing, our method saves up to 85% of the printing time. In this paper, we firstly describe the material mechanism both in experimental and simulation models, and demonstrate a library of geometrical and functional primitives. We then walk through our software to demonstrate its design capability, followed by the implementation of its pipeline. Lastly, we describe application prototypes in the context of self-folding furniture, transportation, armors and decorative art.