This research presents a three-dimensional modeling technique for a flexible sheet. A relative coordinate formulation is used to represent the kinematics of the sheet. The three-dimensional flexible sheet is modeled by multi-rigid bodies interconnected by out-of-plane joints and plate force elements. A parent node is designated as a master body and is connected to the ground by a floating joint to cover the rigid motion of the flexible sheet in space. Since the in-plane deformation of a sheet such as a paper and a film is relatively small, compared to out-of-plane deformation, only the out-of-plane deformation is accounted for in this research. The recursive formulation has been adopted to solve the equations of motion efficiently. An example is presented to show the validity of the proposed method.
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