In 4D printing research, different types of complex structure folding and unfolding have been investigated. However, research on cross-folding of origami structures (defined as a folding structure with at least two overlapping folds) has not been reported. This research focuses on the investigation of cross-folding structures using multi-material components along different axes and different horizontal hinge thickness with single homogeneous material. Tensile tests were conducted to determine the impact of multi-material components and horizontal hinge thickness. In the case of multi-material structures, the hybrid material composition has a significant impact on the overall maximum strain and Young’s modulus properties. In the case of single material structures, the shape recovery speed is inversely proportional to the horizontal hinge thickness, while the flexural or bending strength is proportional to the horizontal hinge thickness. A hinge with a thickness of 0.5 mm could be folded three times prior to fracture whilst a hinge with a thickness of 0.3 mm could be folded only once prior to fracture. A hinge with a thickness of 0.1 mm could not even be folded without cracking. The introduction of a physical hole in the center of the folding/unfolding line provided stress relief and prevented fracture. A complex flower petal shape was used to successfully demonstrate the implementation of overlapping and non-overlapping folding lines using both single material segments and multi-material segments. Design guidelines for establishing cross-folding structures using multi-material components along different axes and different horizontal hinge thicknesses with single or homogeneous material were established. These guidelines can be used to design and implement complex origami structures with overlapping and non-overlapping folding lines. Combined overlapping folding structures could be implemented and allocating specific hole locations in the overall designs could be further explored. In addition, creating a more precise prediction by investigating sets of in between hinge thicknesses and comparing the folding times before fracture, will be the subject of future work.
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