OrigamiBoat: An Application of Thick Rigid Flat-Folding Origami to Portable Watercraft

Carl A. Nelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this paper, we present an application of rigid flat-folding origami in which a portable boat is developed from a symmetric, four-vertex origami pattern. The flat-folding conditions are laid out, and a simplified construction is identified through reduction of panels which remain adjacent in the open and flat-folded configurations. Additional compactness is achieved through identifying symmetries similar to a recursive application of Kawasaki’s theorem. The boat is prototyped to demonstrate proof of concept, and merits of an alternate design are compared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMechanisms and Machine Science
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameMechanisms and Machine Science
ISSN (Print)2211-0984
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0992


  • Flat-folding origami
  • Portable watercraft
  • Rigid origami
  • Thick origami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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