Origami Experiments

For our final project we need to design and build something to present in the next and final class. This is a half semester class so the final project is due the same time as other midterms.

I'm interested in origami and want to learn how to fold interesting designs. For the final I am going to design my own origami model, document it, and present it next week.

To prepare for this I need to get a lot better at folding origami. I started by following Youtube tutorials. My first was a crane:

origami crane, with two wide wings a neck and head in the front and a long thin tail in the back.

Next, a butterfly:

origami butterfly, with wide wings

Then I got more ambitious, folding a frog.

origami frog, with four short stubby legs and a flatish body.

This Double Spearhead Tessellation was challenging but achievable. I wish I picked a different color paper.

four star-like shapes folded into a single square piece of paper.

This Flower X was fun to fold:

four petal flower made out of paper.

I was feeling pretty confident so I took a stab at the models in Robert Lang's book Origami Design Secrets. That's when it stopped going so well. This ruby-throated hummingbird was extremely challenging. I persevered and made it through most of the 41 steps but couldn't get the head right. It looks OK from the angle photographed below but the model isn't complete. You will also notice the paper on the head area is starting to tear.

bird made out of paper, with wide wings and a round body.

This is one of the easier models in his book. I am going to have to practice more before trying again. The more complicated models have ambiguous and curved folds that are confusing to follow.

Happily I was able to fold Lang's stealth fighter model.

airplane with wide wings extending out from the nose of the plane.

For the final project Sam would like me to design my own model and write documentation suitable for a origami beginner. He'd rather see a simpler model that is documented well than for me to fold one of the complicated models from Lang's book. That plan works for me and matches my origami skill level. I am still going to explore Lang's book but I will also use other resources available to me.