Lang’s “Green Tree Frog”

Good paper is such a blessing. I took a long-stored square of olive Vietnamese Dó paper and attempted to fold a “Temple Dragon” – got most of the way through and realised the paper was too small/thick to complete it. Rather than bin the model, I carefully unfolded it, ironed it flat and … the paper had a new life:

Folding paper can damage it – wood-fibre-based paper takes damage (I call it paper fatigue) because the folding process can break the fibres along the crease. SOME paper has strong, flexible fibres that bend but mostly do not break, and Dó paper (made from bark of the Rhamnoneuron balansae tree) is astonishingly resilient.

The colour reminded me of something, as a kid, I used to see all the time – green tree frogs. Naturally I returned to Robert Lang’s “Origami Design Secrets” and re-folded his Green Tree Frog – I no longer had in my stored folds a copy of this lovely model so figured it was time.

Continue reading

1132: Test Fold of a new Baby Tapejara Pterosaur

There is so much happening in the world of Origami design, it is amazing to see new models emerging of every subject imaginable. I am working on editing/test-folding a bunch of Chinese diagrams currently, and thought I should fold this beauty to check on the sequence in the diagrams:

I started with 2x 45cm squares of Kraft – intending to fold BOTH the landed and flying versions of this model (yes – 2 different forms in the same model!), reached a part of the diagram I could not get past – I ruined, ragequitted and snowballed one of the sheets in frustration … only to realise the impasse just required a different view of the model.

Plunging on, through a challenging sequence, I muddled to the end and the result is quite amazing. I like that someone has focussed on the “on the ground” version of a model usually depicted in flight with wings extended. These critters were land dwelling, occasionally in the air, and their body morphology is full whack – prolly why they no longer exist (except as remnant critters like bats). Tapejara’s were thought to be particularly agile fliers and formidable predators, remnants of these have been found in Brazil.

This is part of an astonishing collection of new designs coming soon as a book from and showcases some amazing layer /sheet management. I _almost_ want to go back and now fold the flying version of this model … almost.

Fun, challenging fold. I think folding this critter much smaller represents a huge challenge – the pleats that form the back legs/toes at this size ended up being 4mm – my fat clumsy fingers struggled to fold these accurately (and you form these pleats part way through the sequence – not in pre-creasing). Going smaller will be “interesting” for a more nimble folder.

1130: Villeneuve Ornithopter v1.2

When I first read Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series of books, it was the mid 70’s and I was a teenager. The expansive universe captured my imagination like little else.

Dune Part 2 has just been released in cinemas, and the Denis Villeneuve adaptation is visually stunning. On planet Arrakis (Dune), a chosen method of air travel is the “Ornithopter”, described as an insect-like flapping machine.

’Thopters in the current movie series are astonishing, if illogical from an engineering perspective. Variously, ‘Thopters have 2 to 12 wings, each move independently in a coordinated buzz to provide controlled lift and thrust.

The origami world has a few simple ‘thopter designs, most modelled on the 80’s David Lynch film adaptation, so I thought I would have a go at designing one from scratch. Initially I thought to harness an existing base, but decided I wanted 12 wings, in groups of 3, and wanted landing gear, some paper for a fuselage and various flaps for some simple detailing.

There are many design methodologies I could have employed. Circle packing (each circle centre representing the vertex of a stickey outer bit), 22.5 folding to facilitate the point-splitting needed for so many separate flaps, but settled on box pleating.

First I sketched out a rough crease pattern (CP). 12 points along opposite edges of a square. The downside of this arrangement was the points ended up tiny – way too small for the wings. Rearranging them symmetrically allowed me to include extra flaps for landing gear, cockpit and more. Designing the collapse along a 2 unit strip of the central axis also gave me the bulk for the fuselage. I calculated I could achieve this with a 48 grid.

Continue reading

1128: Origami Computer

For a system to be considered “Turing Complete”, it must be able to be used for completing any computational problem. In the world of DIGITAL Turing Complete setups, these computations are achieved using simpler binary operations (like NOT, AND, OR, NOR, etc.).

In a paper recently released by Mathematicians Thomas C. Hull and Inna Zakharevich, they propose flat-foldable crease patterns for origami “processors” that simulate a number of simple binary operations (namely NAND, NOR, AND, OR, NOT and a few ancillary operations) making the theoretical proposition that flat foldable origami is Turing Complete.

I folded a few of the paper’s logic gates, and made a video of how they work – have a look:

Although this is a little nerdy, I can at least conceptualise the idea that a network of interconnected origami processors could, theoretically, actually do something useful. Technical challenges exist with having such crease patterns co-exist on the same sheet, in sufficient quantities to represent anything other than single bits (0/1 or On/Off or True/False), but the idea is none the less tantalising.

I link to a copy of the paper here: FLAT ORIGAMI IS TURING COMPLETE

1121: Santa/Satan

Comes the time of year when we tell little kids that a morbidly obese stranger in a red suit breaks into their house (by coming down a chimney or other entry point if there is no chimney), eats some random snack, feeds a portion of that snack to a reindeer (who has a birthmark on it’s nose) and then leaves presents, regardless of whether you have been an entitled little shit all year, or a saint:

As a parent I was complicit in this lie until my kids (fairly early on) cottoned on to the fact that this whole thing was so very unlikely, and merely a mechanism for justifying a mound of presents under the xmas tree.

I wanted to try out the new paper pack of Satogami I got from Origami-shop and this festive fold seemed like the perfect opportunity given the latest Tanteidan magazine (which contains it’s diagrams) arrived this week also.

Duo Satogami is quite thick. I bought a paper pack of 58cm squares, mixed colours and love the vibrancy of the red/white, and also love the texture of the paper. I _want_ to report that pre-creasing Satogami was easy … but … I really struggled to my the reference folds and to fold accurately because of the thickness and texture. The paper reverses fairly poorly also (meaning I had to correct lots of folds for accuracy as I went to ensure alignment of layers and edges during more complex moves.

Continue reading