STILFOLD aims to take origami tech beyond bikes

2 min read

Swedish startup STILFOLD, the sister company of origami motorbike startup STRILRIDE, is seeking to broaden the applications for its novel manufacturing technique.

What Stockholm's Golden Bridge would look like if it was built by STILFOLD’s "industrial origami" robots
What Stockholm's Golden Bridge would look like if it was built by STILFOLD’s "industrial origami" robots - STILFOLD

In January 2022, STILRIDE announced it had raised £2.5m to produce a run of its Sport Utility Scooter One (SUS1), created using an origami metalwork technique carried out by robots. The success of the SUS1 has led to the creation of a new company, STILFOLD, which will seek to expand the origami technique beyond bikes to a variety of different sectors, ranging from buildings and bridges to mobility devices and kitchen appliances.

Specialist software from STILFOLD will enable designers to simulate folding and unfolding their desired structure from a metal sheet. Once a design has been finalised, robotic arms can be programmed to carry out the complex folding process, where metal sheets are worked around a variety of curves to create intricate structures. The new business will be headed by the co-founders of STILRIDE, Tue Beijer and Jonas Nyvang. They will also continue to oversee the bike company, whose first run is set for release this autumn.

Sport Utility Scooter One (SUS1) Credit: STILRIDE -

“We always envisioned separating the STILFOLD and STILRIDE brands to differentiate our products from the technology itself. But we didn’t imagine we’d be in a position to make this move so early on in our journey,” said Jonas Nyvang, co-founder and CEO at STILFOLD

“We’re immensely excited to be able to affect this change, as it signals a new phase for the business where we can finally share our technology with industry players and kickstart the ‘green steel’ revolution. 

Manufacturing is estimated to account for around 12 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. STILFOLD said it is already running pilots with multinational design and manufacturing brands including a major trailer manufacturer, many of which are looking for innovative ways to reduce the carbon impact of their production.

In one case study, it was calculated that if STILFOLD was used to create Stockholm’s Golden Bridge (“Guldbron”) - folding it on-site using local steel - they could have reduced its carbon footprint by 60 per cent and made it lighter and more durable, preventing nine million kilograms of CO2e from entering the atmosphere. When it was constructed in 2020, the bridge was shipped from China with an estimated environmental impact equal to 3000 transatlantic flights.

“We are extremely passionate about electromobility,” said Nyvang. “But early on we knew the potential for this technology to go beyond just EVs. Using STILFOLD, manufacturers across all industries can minimise resource consumption and waste, cut labour costs and ultimately reduce the environmental impact of production: which is a key mission for everyone in the industry in the midst of the climate crisis. 

“We sit at the intersection of technology, electromobility, manufacturing and design - and we want to help each of these industries become more sustainable, without compromising on quality craftsmanship, innovation or style.”