Origami-inspired mechanical metamaterials could exhibit extraordinary properties that originate almost exclusively from the intrinsic geometry of the constituent folds. While most of current state of the art efforts have focused on the origami’s static and quasi-static scenarios, this research explores the dynamic characteristics of degree-4 vertex (4-vertex) origami folding. Here we characterize the mechanics and dynamics of two 4-vertex origami structures, one is a stacked Miura-ori (SMO) structure with structural bistability, and the other is a stacked single-collinear origami (SSCO) structure with locking-induced stiffness jump; they are the constituent units of the corresponding origami metamaterials. In this research, we theoretically model and numerically analyze their dynamic responses under harmonic base excitations. For the SMO structure, we use a third-order polynomial to approximate the bistable stiffness profile, and numerical simulations reveal rich phenomena including small-amplitude intrawell, large-amplitude interwell, and chaotic oscillations. Spectrum analyses reveal that the quadratic and cubic nonlinearities dominate the intrawell oscillations and interwell oscillations, respectively. For the SSCO structure, we use a piecewise constant function to describe the stiffness jump, which gives rise to a frequency-amplitude response with hardening nonlinearity characteristics. Mainly two types of oscillations are observed, one with small amplitude that coincides with the linear scenario because locking is not triggered, and the other with large amplitude and significant nonlinear characteristics. The method of averaging is adopted to analytically predict the piecewise stiffness dynamics. Overall, this research bridges the gap between the origami quasi-static mechanics and origami folding dynamics, and paves the way for further dynamic applications of origami-based structures and metamaterials.

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