The Origami based umbrella that will right itself after being blown inside out

Interesting Engineering

While origami is typically made using paper and paper doesn’t get on very well with water you wouldn’t think that it would be a good idea to base an umbrella around it. However this is exactly what the designers of the Sa, the origami based umbrella have done. The umbrella has been designed so that if it blows inside out, as they typically do in high winds, it will right itself without you having to make a song and dance about it.


[Image Source: Justin Nagelberg, Matthew Waldman]

The design of the umbrella hasn’t changed that much since it was first invented. Though in recent times we have seen such things as the air blasting umbrella which is said to protect the user by air and we have seen a vertical rain shield. However, the Sa Origami umbrella doesn’t aim to totally change how the umbrella looks, it refines it.


[Image Source: Justin Nagelberg, Matthew Waldman]

The Sa looks just like any other umbrella and was designed by Justin Nagelberg along with Matthew Waldman. The fabric canopy of the umbrella has been changed and the Sa has a stiffer plastic canopy which folds into sections. There is also no mechanism such as that seen on the traditional umbrella. Instead there is a smaller inverted canopy inside the larger one. The skeleton frame has also been done away with too, as after all, this is the part of the umbrella that typically causes all the hassle when it gets turned inside out.


[Image Source: Justin Nagelberg, Matthew Waldman]

To open the Origami based umbrella all you have to do is rotate the handle at the bottom. The rotation releases the top section through a spring loaded mechanism, with the top part of the handle being directly connected to the interior canopy, which opens and then pushes the canopy on the outside open. The panels help with the integrity of the structure in such a way that the normal fabric used in the umbrella cannot.

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[Image Source: Justin Nagelberg, Matthew Waldman]

The designers say that the Sa makes use of planar tension and this gives it the structure and its shape. It is lighter to carry around as the umbrella doesn’t have the metal mechanism and thanks to there not being any movable parts, it is more durable.


[Image Source: Justin Nagelberg, Matthew Waldman]

The Sa is also said to be safer than the typical umbrella. The panels corners are blunt, so less chance of being poked in the eye by one of the pointy spokes. There is also more room for a head under the umbrella as the internal mechanism has been done away with.

The Sa also has magnets around the perimeter of the umbrella, which hold the many panels together when the umbrella is closed and the panels are wrapped around its pole.


[Image Source: Justin Nagelberg, Matthew Waldman]

The designers have the Sa on Kickstarter to raise money for production and already it has surpassed the target set. Anyone who wants the Sa umbrella can pledge US$89 and if all goes well the designers aim to get the umbrella out for delivery in February or March of 2015.

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