FoldTronics: Creating 3D Objects with Integrated Electronics Using Foldable Honeycomb Structures
FoldTronics creates shape-changing 3D objects with integrated electronics.
We present FoldTronics, a 2D-cutting-based fabrication technique to integrate electronics into 3D folded objects. The key idea is to cut and perforate a 2D sheet to make it foldable into a honeycomb structure using a cutting plotter; before folding the sheet into a 3D structure, users place the electronic components and circuitry onto the sheet.
The fabrication process only takes a few minutes enabling users to rapidly prototype functional interactive devices. The resulting objects are lightweight and rigid, thus allowing for weight-sensitive and force-sensitive applications. Finally, due to the nature of the honeycomb structure, the objects can be folded flat along one axis and thus can be efficiently transported in this compact form factor.
We describe the structure of the foldable sheet, and present a design tool that enables users to quickly prototype the desired objects. We showcase a range of examples made with our design tool, including objects with integrated sensors and display elements.