Deployable strip structures

We design and edit C-meshes which guide structures that can be deployed from a flat collapsed state. Geometrically, they are quad meshes or hex meshes with constant edge length and the additional property of spherical vertex stars.

We introduce the new concept of C-mesh to capture kinetic structures that can be deployed from a collapsed state. Quadrilateral C-meshes enjoy rich geometry and surprising relations with differential geometry: A structure that collapses onto a flat and straight strip corresponds to a Chebyshev net of curves on a surface of constant Gaussian curvature, while structures collaps- ing onto a circular strip follow surfaces which enjoy the linear-Weingarten property. Interestingly, allowing more general collapses actually leads to a smaller class of shapes. Hexagonal C-meshes have more degrees of free- dom, but a local analysis suggests that there is no such direct relation to smooth surfaces. Besides theory, this paper provides tools for exploring the shape space of C-meshes and for their design. We also present an application for freeform architectural skins, namely paneling with spherical panels of constant radius, which is an important fabrication-related constraint.