Laser origami is a metal forming process where an initially planar sheet is transformed into a target three-dimensional (3D) form through cutting and folding operations executed by a laser beam. A key challenge in laser origami is to determine the locations of the cuts and folds required to transform the planar sheet into the 3D target shape. The region of the planar sheet that can be transformed into the target shape through these cuts and folds is denoted as the net. This paper presents a method to determine optimal net(s) for laser origami based on criteria including minimum energy usage, minimum fabrication time, minimum error in the fold angles, and minimum material usage. The 3D target shape is given as a polygonal mesh. To generate a net, each edge in the mesh must be classified as a cut or a fold. The energy, time, and other parameters associated with cutting or folding each edge are determined using experimentally calibrated formulas. A search algorithm is subsequently implemented to find combinations of cut and folded edges that provide an optimal set of nets for the given 3D target shape based on a cost function. Nets that are disconnected or have overlapping regions are discarded since they are invalid for laser origami. The method is demonstrated by applying it to different target shapes and cost functions.

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