String actuated curved folded surfaces

Martin Kilian, Aron Monszpart, Niloy J. Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Curved folded surfaces, given their ability to produce elegant freeform shapes by folding flat sheets etched with curved creases, hold a special place in computational Origami. Artists and designers have proposed a wide variety of different fold patterns to create a range of interesting surfaces. The creative process, design, as well as fabrication is usually only concerned with the static surface that emerges once folding has completed. Folding such patterns, however, is difficult asmultiple creases have to be folded simultaneously to obtain a properly folded target shape. We introduce string actuated curved folded surfaces that can be shaped by pulling a network of strings, thus, vastly simplifying the process of creating such surfaces and making the folding motion an integral part of the design. Technically, we solve the problem of which surface points to string together and how to actuate them by locally expressing a desired folding path in the space of isometric shape deformations in terms of novel string actuation modes. We demonstrate the validity of our approach by computing string actuation networks for a range of well-known crease patterns and testing their effectiveness on physical prototypes. All the examples in this article can be downloaded for personal use from

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
JournalACM transactions on graphics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational design
  • Computational origami
  • Curved folding
  • Fabrication
  • Folding motion
  • String actuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


Dive into the research topics of 'String actuated curved folded surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this