Category: Notes Page 1 of 2

Incredible Transformers Papercraft… That Really Transforms!

Manolo (AKA MC Fold) dropped me a line about his new project, amazingly detailed papercraft Transformers with a twist – they are very poseable, but even more incredible, they can actually transform!

Check out some pictures of Optimus Prime below, and check out the site to see more.


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More free paper toys and some papercraft ideas

Nicebunny DJ

Brian dropped me a line to let me know about the free papercraft toys he’s got on the Nicebunny site.

I also had an email from Lisa who recommends the freely available book Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements. It’s scanned and searchable at The Kinematic Models for Design Digital Library


Modular origami basics

Recently I’ve been playing around with Squidoo to create a beginner’s introduction to modular origami. Their pages are called ‘lenses’, and here’s the one I’ve been working on:

Modular Origami – So what is modular origami then?

Let me know if you find it interesting or useful, or if there’s more information you’d like to see!

Furoshiki – Wrap your gifts in the Japanese way


> The Japanese wrapping cloth known as the furoshiki is said to have been first used in the Muromachi Period(1392-1573), when people spread it out in place of a bath mat or wrapped one’s clothes with it. [1](

Here’s a great idea for giving gifts this Christmas (or at any other time!) – wrap them in a traditional Japanese cloth. As a rough guess at the size, I’d say the one in the pictures is about 2 1/2 feet or 70cm square, you can buy them at various places on the web, but you could also buy some nicely patterned cloth and make your own.

If you want to see the Japanese style cloths, even though it’s not in English, [this page has some really nice pictures](

[Furoshiki Patterns](

The Japanese governernment has reintroduced use of this interesting item as part of an environmental drive – they even recommend [several folding patterns]( [PDF](

More information:

* [Furoshiki Folding Patterns (PDF)](
* [Furoshiki on Wikipedia]( – it’s a bit short on information unfortunately.

[Via Make:Blog](

Great books about mechanical paper toys

Paper Forest - Paper Mechanics Resources

Just posted over at the always-great [Paper Forest](, here’s a list of [Paper Mechanics Resources](

I have been asked for some good resources on making your own paper automata, so I thought I’d post the books I know of that are out on the market. These are resources for strictly mechanical toys, and not pop-up books, origami books, or origami Architecture. There are plenty of pop-up instructional books out, many of which are very good, but it becomes harder to find books on automata.

Of the books listed, the only one I’ve seen before is Up-pops: Paper Engineering with Elastic Bands – I haven’t bought it yet, but having had a browse in the shops, it’s definitely worth reading. Looks like I’ll have to check out the rest too.

Don’t Just Fold Paper, Fold Your Shirts Too

Eric over at [Origami Tessellations]( pointed me towards this cool [shirt folding machine](, made from a few pieces of cardboard

Cardboard Shirt Folding Machine

It’s deceptively simple, even though it looks very flashy – much like the classic Japanese method [How to Fold a Shirt](

The first few times I watched that, I kept feeling like I’d missed part of the video out – it starts with a flat shirt, and then all of a sudden, it’s folded. Watch it a couple of times and you get the hang of it though.

If there’s any point to all this, it’s that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just using paper for origami and papercraft. Embrace all the different materials out there – paper, foil, cellophane, textiles and more can all be used, and give very different results.

Beginner’s Origami Basics Series – Coming Soon

I haven’t had a huge amount of time to post to the blog recently, but I wanted to let all of you know that soon I will be kicking off a new series of posts aimed at newcomers to Origami.

The first instalment will start with an overview of the origami folds and how they are shown in diagrams, and the second part will move on to the bird base, and how you get from that to an origami bird.

After that, who knows? There’s a lot more to cover – if there’s anything you’d especially like to see, please leave a comment!

Fold Your Own Origami Envelope

It’s a bit late to post these in time for christmas, but how about sending your thank you notes in these hand-made origami envelopes?

Make your own origami envelopeFold your own origami envelope - laid out flat

This is a simple design that’s folded from a single sheet of paper, and whatever is written inside is completely hidden when folded – a nice surprise for whoever recieves it.

This may not comply with US postal regulations, so check carefully if you’re sending letters around America – you can always put it inside another envelope, or just stick to hand-delivery for people who live close.

I found this on Instructables, “a venue for showing what you make and how others can make it”. There’s loads of projects on there, but not much in the way of paper crafts at the moment.

Papercraft Calendar

We’ve already entered the month of December, so January 2006 is coming very soon!

What would look better gracing your desk for the coming year than your very own papercraft calendar on a dodecahedron?

Dodecahedron calendarRhombic dodecahedron calendar

‘Computational Origami’ Podcast – Robert J. Lang

Trying to find something to listen to? IT Conversations has [an interesting talk]( by origami master Robert J. Lang.

Here’s the description:

The last decade of the twentieth century saw a revolution in the development and application of mathematical techniques to origami. Robert J. Lang describes how geometric concepts have led to the computer solution of a broad class of origami folding challenges and, as a consequence, enabled origami designs of astonishing complexity and realism to be developed.

He covers how technology and origami are affecting each other, and talks about how he used origami principles to help put a 100-metre wide lens into space by folding it to fit into a small rocket. That’s an amazing use of some ancient ideas!

Want to learn more about Robert J. Lang? [Read the Wikipedia article on him](, and then [visit his site]( to view [some amazing galleries]( of his work (a lot of these pictures are mentioned in his talk).

Thanks to [John]( for the tip.

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