E2F - Development and Design of technical Foldings

  Simulation of a folding mechanism as a robot shell Copyright: © IGMR

Project State




Variability, reconfigurability or reconfiguration place great demands on technical products due to demanding boundary conditions, changing environments or necessary functional integration. The use of technical folding mechanisms is particularly promising when thin facets are required to fulfil functions. In addition, reconfigurable foldings create the link between architecture and mechanical engineering by combining the technically central aspects of construction, statics and kinematics. The design and layout of such structures therefore require the transfer of knowledge across traditional disciplinary boundaries.


The aim of the research project is to enable the targeted technical use of reconfigurable foldings in architecture and engineering. A specific development process with related methods and tools will be provided for this purpose.


The problems arising in the development process must be identified and requirements for the methods to be used must be defined. Only then can missing methods and tools be developed. First of all, an overview of technically usable folding patterns and tasks to be performed should be created. The first sub-goals are the respective classification as well as the mutual assignment of tasks and potential solutions. Through the deeper investigation of the applicable technical foldings, the composition between typical properties and the use of these folding structures as a construction or mechanical engineering design will be discussed. The focus is on foldings in the field ofengineering and related disciplines such as vehicle or machine construction, where, among other things, influences on the folding process and the load-bearing behaviour are to be investigated.

The follow-up project continues the approach of the original project: The successful planning and realization of a prototype technical folding is to be implemented in this part and requires a structured, target-oriented approach based on an interdisciplinary coordinated design process. At this point, the design of the demonstrator serves primarily to verify the previously developed process as well as the identified, tested and generated methods. Accordingly, the steps of the process should be run through and critically questioned.



Chair of Structures and Structural Design
Institute for Machine Elements and Systems Engineering


The research project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

E2F Demonstrator: Video of MSE