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
Start with a rectangular sheet of paper. Almost any size will work but the one shown here is 4″ x 2″.
Fold the paper in half (left to right). Unfold.
Fold the paper in half (bottom to top).
Fold up the left side and the right side of the paper so they align with the vertical crease made in step 1.
Turn the unit around.
Fold in the top corners as shown.
Fold down the top flaps so the unit looks like an upside down isosceles triangle.
Fold the unit in half (right to left).
Amazing sculptures can be made using these triangular units.
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.
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.