With the infinite design space and the excellent folding-induced deformability, origami has been recognized as an effective tool for developing reconfigurable structures. Particularly, the multistable origami structure, which possesses more than one stable configuration that is distinct in shape and mechanical properties, has received wide research attention. Generally, the origami structure reaches a kinematic singularity point when switching among different stable configurations. At this critical state, multiple switching sequences are possible, and the actual transition is generally hard to predict. In this paper, evolving from the conventional bistable Miura-ori unit, a triple-cell origami structure with eight potential stable configurations is proposed, which serves as a platform for investigating the transition sequences among different stable configurations. To quantify the overall elastic potential of the structure, besides the conventional elastic energy originating from the rigid folding creases, extra elastic potential induced by the mismatch among the cells are introduced, so that folding of the triple-cell structure is no longer a strict single degree-of-freedom mechanism. Instead, the three cells can deform asynchronously to avoid reaching the kinematic singularity point. Hence, under displacement loading, the transition sequence of the multistable structure is predicted by performing optimization on the elastic potential energy. It shows that sequences with multifarious characteristics are possible, including reversible and irreversible transitions, and transitions with symmetric and asymmetric energy barriers. Considering that the fundamental transition mechanisms are of great significance in understanding the quasi-static and dynamic behaviors of multistable structures, the results could be potentially employed for developing morphing structures, adaptive metamaterials, and mechanical logic gates.

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