October 2017, Berlin

Is it possible to predict the self-folding of a polymer sheet through its printing? And how does the self-folding of the polymer change with a variety of ink densities, different forms or linear and circular gradients printed on it?

For this project, a group of students at the UdK Berlin conducted a shape study that researched the self-folding of polymer sheets with the use of ink and heat. Polymer Sheets react to consistent radiated heat with shrinking equally. After printing the sheet with black ink, it appeared that these parts bundled the heat and, compared to the untreated parts, increased its temperature by approximately one third. A higher temperature lead to faster folding at the inked parts which made it possible to control the shape of the folding in advance.