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A Swedish startup plans to bring ‘industrial origami’ to space

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The ancient art of origami could have a future in space.

Sweden’s first astronaut and the European Space Agency (ESA) this week unveiled a new project inspired by the paper folding technique.

The program uses technology designed by stillfolda Swedish startup that has pioneered a manufacturing process called “industrial origami.”

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The technique uses robotic arms to fold steel plates over curves to form complex and lightweight shapes.

stillfold previously used the approach of building an electric scooter. According to the company, the techniques resulted in 70% less components, 40% less weight, 20% less material costs and 25% less labor costs.

The team believes that such savings could be particularly powerful in space, where they would be possible complex structures that must be built with minimal materials and components. In addition, the method does not require stamping or welding.

Stilfold co-founder Jonas Nyvang envisions the unfolding of vehicles and food storage facilities in space.

“You can’t bring much to space because it takes up limited space,” he told TNW. “The flexibility of our technology makes it possible to take stacked sheets with you for easy storage, and then create stuff by unfolding them when you get there.”

To test the theory, Stilfold will: working with Sweden International Space Asset Acceleration Company (ISSAC), a new organization supported by the ESA and the Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang,

The team will now spend 12 months exploring the possibilities.

STILFOLD co-founders Jonas Nyvang and Tue Beijer