We combine numerical simulations and experiments to design a new class of reconfigurable waveguides based on three-dimensional origami-inspired metamaterials. Our strategy builds on the fact that the rigid plates and hinges forming these structures define networks of tubes that can be easily reconfigured. As such, they provide an ideal platform to actively control and redirect the propagation of sound. We design reconfigurable systems that, depending on the externally applied deformation, can act as networks of waveguides oriented along one, two, or three preferential directions. Moreover, we demonstrate that the capability of the structure to guide and radiate acoustic energy along predefined directions can be easily switched on and off, as the networks of tubes are reversibly formed and disrupted. The proposed designs expand the ability of existing acoustic metamaterials and exploit complex waveguiding to enhance control over propagation and radiation of acoustic energy, opening avenues for the design of a new class of tunable acoustic functional systems.

Sci. Adv.
Soft Robotic Matter

Babaee, S., Overvelde, J., Chen, E. R., Tournat, V., & Bertoldi, K. (2016). Reconfigurable Origami-inspired Acoustic Waveguides. Sci. Adv., 2(11, Article number: e1601019), 1–8. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1601019