Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

3D-Printed Origami Packaging with Inkjet-Printed Antennas for RF Harvesting Sensors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number7327248
Pages (from-to)4521-4532
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


This paper demonstrates the combination of additive manufacturing techniques for realizing complex 3D origami structures for high frequency applications. A 3D-printed compact package for enclosing radio frequency (RF) electronics is built, that features on-package antennas for RF signal reception (for harvesting or communication) at orthogonal orientations. Conventional 3D printing technologies often require significant amounts of time and supporting material to realize certain structures, such as hollow packages. In this work, instead of fabricating the package in its final 3D form, it is 3D-printed as a planar structure with "smart" shape-memory hinges that allow origami folding to a 3D shape after heating. This significantly reduces fabrication time and effectively eliminates the need for supporting material, thus minimizing the overall manufacturing cost. Metallization on the package is performed by directly inkjet printing conductive inks on top of the 3D-printed surface with a modified inkjet-printed process without the need for surface treatment or processing. Inkjet-printed on-package conductive features are successfully fabricated, that are combined with RF energy harvesting electronics to showcase the proof-of-concept of utilizing origami techniques to build fully 3D RF systems. The methodologies presented in this paper will be enabling the manufacturing of numerous real-time shape-changing 3D complex structures for electromagnetic applications.


  • 3D printing, additive manufacturing, inkjet printing, origami electronics, RF harvesting