An autonomous laser kirigami method with low-cost real-time vision-based surface deformation feedback system

Zhujiang Wang, Zimo Wang*, Woo Hyun Ko, Ashif Sikandar Iquebal, Vu Nguyen, Nazanin Afsar Kazerooni, Qiyang Ma, Arun Srinivasa, Panganamala Ramana Kumar, Satish Bukkapatnam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We introduce an autonomous laser kirigami technique, a novel custom manufacturing machine system which functions somewhat similar to a photocopier. This technique is capable of creating functional freeform shell structures using cutting and folding (kirigami) operations on sheet precursors. Conventional laser kirigami techniques are operated manually and rely heavily on precise calibrations. However, it is unrealistic to design and plan out the process (open loop) to realize arbitrary geometric features from a wide variety of materials. In our work, we develop and demonstrate a completely autonomous system, which is composed of a laser system, a 4-axis robotic arm, a real-time vision-based surface deformation monitoring system, and an associated control system. The laser system is based on the Lasersaur, which is a 120-Watt CO2 open-source laser cutter. The robotic arm is employed to precisely adjust the distance between a workpiece and the laser lens so that a focused and defocused laser beam can be used to cut and fold the workpiece respectively. The four-axis robotic arm provides flexibility for expanding the limits of possible shapes, compared to conventional laser machine setups where the workpiece is fixed on rigid holders. The real-time vision-based surface deformation monitoring system is composed of four low-cost cameras, an integrated AI-assisted algorithm, and the sensors (detachable planar markers) mounted on the polymer-based sheet precursors, and allows real-time monitoring of the sheet forming process with a geometric feature estimation error less than 5% and delay time around 100 ms. The developed control system manages the laser power, the laser scanning speed, the motion of the robotic arm based on the designed plan, and the close-loop feedback provided by the vision-based surface deformation monitoring system. This cyber-physical kirigami platform can operate a sequence of cutting and folding processes in order to create kirigami objects. Hence, complicated kirigami design products with various different polygonal structures can be realized by undergoing sequential designed laser cuts and bends (at any folding angles within designed geometric tolerance) using this autonomous kirigami platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1873-1883
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyber-physical manufacturing process
  • Laser kirigami process
  • Smart manufacturing


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