3D Origami

3D Origami

3D Origami
3D Origami has been around for a long time but because of the internet, we now see an explosion of projects which you can make with these paper triangles. This type of paper folding was brought to surface in the mid-1990’s when Chinese refuges (see complete story here) folded and assembled elaborate paper structures to gain favor, attention, (and possibly donations) from those who were involved with their plight.

This type of paper folding is also called Chinese Paper Folding or Golden Venture Folding. The basis of this type of origami is the use of Triangular Unit. Once made, these triangular units act like Legos and can be assembled into almost anything given that you have imagination and enough triangular units to realize the ideas.

 

3D Origami: Instructions for Triangular Units

 

3D Origami

Step 1:

Start with a rectangular sheet of paper. Almost any size will work but the one shown here is 4″ x 2″.
If you want to economize, start with paper that is 4″ x 1″, skip step 2, and go to step 3.

Fold the paper in half (left to right). Unfold.

3D Origami

Step 2:

Fold the paper in half (bottom to top).

3D Origami

Step 3:

Fold up the left side and the right side of the paper so they align with the vertical crease made in step 1.

3D Origami

Step 4:

Turn the unit around.

3D Origami

Step 5:

Fold in the top corners as shown.

3D Origami

Step 6:

Fold down the top flaps so the unit looks like an upside down isosceles triangle.

3D Origami

Step 7:

Fold the unit in half (right to left).
The basic triangular unit is complete.

3D Origami

3D Origami

Amazing sculptures can be made using these triangular units.
The units can be positioned in two ways for assembly:
Mountain position: the triangular unit rests on its broad base; the pockets are visible.
Slide position: the unit rests on the short side of the triangle; the pockets are still visible.
3D Origami
Different projects will require that you assemble the triangular units either in the mountain position or in the slide position. Above is an example of mountain position assembly. Insert the tabs of one unit into the pockets (slots) of another unit.
When assembling 3D objects, it is important to insert two different units into the pockets of one unit. This staggering of the units will make the sculpture more secure. This is the same idea as when you are laying bricks, you want to have the brick offset so it straddles two bricks.

In contrast, when making 2D objects (like rings or linear objects), you insert the two tabs of one unit into the pockets of another unit. For flat models, you do not need to stagger the pieces.