Elomatic involved in developing innovative Fold technology for bio-based materials

Photo: Fold project


Fold project


In the Fold project led by VTT, a new folding technology for bio-based materials was developed. The folding technique is inspired by the Japanese tradition of origami, in which paper is transformed into three-dimensional shapes.

Fold technology is a radical innovation in the paper and packaging industry, enabling the industrial-scale production of unprecedented 3D structures for various applications. The foldable material is intended for use in industrial lightweight structures and as packaging material to replace plastic.

Elomatic participated in the Fold project together with VTT, Anpap, Lumene, Metsä Board, Mirka, Orfer, Soften, Stora Enso and Aalto University.


The Fold project involved a multidisciplinary research team where mathematics, art, and design merged with material science, simulation, and mechanical engineering. Elomatic’s role in the first phase of the project was to develop a production line for the fold-material. Additionally, Elomatic, in collaboration with VTT, developed an industrial-scale pilot device for the material.


The project lasted from January 2022 to 2023.

“VTT together with Elomatic had an elementary role in the development of the piloting equipment itself, and especially ideating on the main concepts around it. According to detailed patent and literature reviews, the machine is highly unique and has the capability of being turned into a continuously working machine.”

Jarmo Kouko, Project Leader, VTT

How did we do it?

While foldable structures like Japanese origami are well known, industrial-scale machines to create such structures have been lacking. Elomatic’s role was to develop a conceptual design for the production line and calculate cost estimates for the line. In collaboration with VTT, Elomatic designed the actual folding machine. Elomatic’s work was considered valuable for the entire project and was even highlighted as the most critical part of the project results.

Bio-based foldable structures are not only beautiful but also practical and ecological, as they can replace plastic in packaging materials. The three-dimensional folding material has been showcased in Finland and internationally, for example, at Helsinki and Dutch Design Weeks and the Eco Expo in Hong Kong. The material has also been seen as having potential in the interior design field, such as in the design of lighting.

“Elomatic’s long experience in the paper industry was very valuable in this project. It was great to be part of a project where bio-based materials are being developed as alternatives to plastic. The Fold material has excellent potential as a new export product.”

Jukka Valkonen, Senior Consulting Engineer, Elomatic