Origami Bulletproof Shield… Say What?! [Video]

Origami Bulletproof Shield For Police [Video]

Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, doesn’t seem like it could help stop bullets. But mechanical engineers at Brigham Young University have developed a new ballistic shield design for law enforcement officers that incorporates origami-inspired structures—and can stop bullets from a .44 Magnum, one of the most powerful handguns!

Origami Bulletproof Shield For Police [Video]


Developed by Dr. Larry Howell and Terri Bateman of the Compliant Mechanisms Research Lab, the shield uses 12 layers of Kevlar—the same material used in bulletproof vests and body armor—in what is known as a Yoshimura folding pattern, which enables a flat material like paper to form a curve-like shape.

“. . .these artists over the centuries have discovered some ways of achieving motion that we would not have discovered using traditional engineering approaches.”

Origami Bulletproof Shield For Police [Video]

While typical ballistic shields are often flat, hard steel surfaces that don’t cover the entire body, the lab’s origami-inspired shield stands up on its own and can shield two or three officers from gunfire. Weighing in at 55 pounds, it seems to be the top choice in comparison to some other folding shields that weigh more than 100 pounds. Also unlike some models that require time for set up, or are unwieldy to transport, it takes only seconds to deploy. Locking mechanisms on the back of the shield snap into place with a few shakes of the shield prevent it from falling over, and it compactly folds when not in use, making it easy to store.

Origami Bulletproof Shield For Police [Video]

Howell believes the shield can be used in other instances as well, like being used to protect children in schools during active shooter situations, especially because it can be stored compactly in a closet and deployed quickly. He has filed for a patent and is actively looking for commercial partners, which will allow him to develop the shield further. It can only defend against handguns and pistols, though. The current prototype wouldn’t be able to withstand an attack from the assault rifles often used in the military, which have smaller, sharper bullets. Integrating protection against those kinds of weapons is the next step, though doing so will increase the weight and cost of the shield.

via Fast CoDesign

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