Researchers have found a new use for the ubiquitous PowerPoint slide: Producing self-folding three-dimensional origami structures from photocurable liquid polymers. The technique involves projecting a grayscale pattern of light and dark shapes onto a thin layer of liquid acrylate polymer placed in a plate or between two glass slides. A photoinitiator material mixed into the polymer initiates a crosslinking reaction when struck by light from an ordinary LED projector, causing a solid film to form. The origami structures could have applications in soft robots, microelectronics, soft actuators, mechanical metamaterials and biomedical devices.
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