Origami, as we now know it, is a form of recreational paper folding that dates back over a thousand years.
The Origins of Origami drawing
After 500 AD, Origami for religious purposes and special events became popular in Japan. It was then utilized for tokens, gifts, and talismans, and it was still employed for Shinto customs like marking religious sites. Today, the shide (paper streamers) are still widely utilized. Paper, on the other hand, was still highly expensive throughout the Heian and later periods. Until the Edo Period, origami was only done by the very rich. Akira Yoshizawa, whose skills were published in various books and publications in the 1950s and beyond, sparked interest in origami in the modern period. Akira is still regarded as the world’s foremost origami master.
Most people imagine designs constructed from a single square of paper when they hear the phrase “origami.” It could be a basic box, a paper crane, or a complex dragon. Cutting is almost never permitted. As a result, unfolding one of these designs restores the creation to its initial square.
However, some varieties of origami may defy one or both of the principles for folding single sheets of paper that have not been cut.
Robert Lang, an origami artist, began folding when he was six years old. He began by copying patterns from books. By the age of ten, he was developing his own designs.
But this isn’t Lang’s first profession. He received his education as a physicist and engineer. He eventually secured a job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, researching lasers.
After deciding to create a book about paper folding, his career began to change. Lang was inspired to leave his work as a result of it. When the book was finished, he believed he would go back to work. But he soon learned that “working in origami was a lot of fun.” He was also able to help other scientists with their origami research because he was self-employed. “I sort of just never went back,” he admits in the end.
Lang now contributes to the development of anything from solar arrays for outer space to medical implants. These are made using origami-inspired folding techniques.
Origami can be approached in a variety of ways. Consider the modular design. Artists make elaborate designs by combining numerous sheets of paper. A module, or unit, is formed by folding each individual sheet. After that, the components are folded together to form a larger pattern.
Another type of artist uses a combination of cutting and folding to do their work. Kirigami is the name for this type of variant.
“Most people think of origami and kirigami as two separate things,” says Lang. “Origami is mostly a folding art with a few cuts here and there, but no paper is cut away. Kirigami makes extensive use of cuts. And there are moments when the paper is literally cut away.”
Origami artisans, according to some, do not use glue. But, as Lang points out, this is a myth.
“Quite a few artists (including the great master [Akira] Yoshizawa) use glue to stiffen the paper or hold portions together,” he observes, especially for work that will be displayed.
In addition to paper,
Oru and kami are two Japanese terms that make up the word origami. They spell out “paper folding” when put together. However, not every origami uses paper.
Paul Rothemund, for example, is credited with developing the area of DNA origami. He apologizes for using the phrase on his website. “‘DNA origami’ reminded me of ‘DNA folding,'” he says. However, he admits that the term “is a misuse of the word.” After all, there isn’t any paper involved.
Lang, on the other hand, holds a different viewpoint. He explains, “The art form known as origami has various definitions.” “‘A form of sculpture in which folding is the principal technique of making the form,’ is the one I prefer.” He claims that origami does not have to be confined to paper in this instance. Folding DNA, metals, and even plant leaves could all be involved.
Scientists have been inspired by origami to work on a wide range of projects, from producing shape-shifting pasta to strengthening road noise barriers.
These and other origami-inspired scientific breakthroughs are effective because they include three components. They bring together the strengths of science, art, and math.
Lang has had firsthand experience with this interaction throughout the course of his more than 40 years of folding. He’s created over 700 original drawings, ranging from woodland animals to three-dimensional multi-pointed stars, by combining his artistic and arithmetic skills. He is currently a well-known origami master, noted for his intricate folds.
Blueprints with a geometric focus
Lang origami efforts with folding.
Each new design is approached as a creative task for him. A plan is usually the first step in effective problem-solving. That holds true for anything from writing an essay to constructing a home.
Crease patterns are the blueprints of origami, and Lang normally creates one before beginning his first fold.
He often starts by drawing a mental map of what he wants to “sculpt” before folding a three-dimensional insect, frog, or dancer, for example.
Geometry enters the picture.
He divides his vision for the finished art creation into the various shapes that will make it up in his thoughts. A butterfly, for example, might be dissected into its wings, antennae, and other parts. Then he considers which shape would best depict each body part.
A makeover is now taking place.
As Lang explains, the planned artwork becomes “a collection of shapes” rather than a body and legs. He employs a method known as polygon packing while drawing this collection of forms on paper. Two-dimensional forms with three or more straight sides are known as polygons. The term “packing” refers to figuring out the best way to fit all of these different forms onto a single sheet of paper.
The procedure isn’t always clear.
“I can’t really hold it all in my head,” Lang says of particularly complicated species like armadillos. As a result, he begins with only a few components. He decides on the shapes that will be used to depict them. After that, he creates a tiny collection of pieces. He then creates a mental map for the rest of the armadillo’s body once he’s finished. Each shape is then given crease lines. He is only now ready to begin folding.
Then there’s the mathematics
Lang also folds tessellations and other intricate, abstract objects (Tess-eh-LAY-shuns). These are groups of shapes that have a tight fit. There are no spaces between them at all. They also don’t cross each other. Tessellations are frequently made out of polygons.
Lang frequently uses a computer program to create crease patterns for these things (called Mathematica). He develops computer code to explain each form that will make up the thing he desires to fold using that program.
He points out that a lot of the code he produces is based on formulas from geometry, trigonometry, and linear algebra. Triangles are the subject of trigonometry. It focuses on the relationships that exist between the three sides of these shapes, as well as the three angles that exist within them. Algebra is a branch of mathematics that employs the use of symbols known as variables, such as xs and ys. An example is an equation 5 + x = 7. (Subtract 5 from both sides to get the answer.) Then you’ve got x = 2.)
Linear algebra is a complex branch of mathematics that is usually studied in college. It concentrates on equations including two variables, such as an x and a y. These equations generate a straight origami line art when displayed on a graph.
The machine solves any math issues in Lang’s code once he’s finished writing it. After that, the computer program creates a crease pattern for the object he’ll fold.
Lang enjoyed math as a child. He says, “I believed math might have even been my primary career.” He decided to pursue electrical engineering and applied physics in college after exploring his interests. These subjects appealed to him because they integrate math and “the thrill of building things.”
Even people who find arithmetic difficult or annoying can become origami-inspired scientists, he says.
Taking on fractions
Brandi Shaw now works as a chemical engineer. However, she did not take a straight path to this math-focused position.
She remembers having a lot of trouble with math in middle school, particularly with fractions. They weren’t, however, her only issue. “I truly did not pass seventh grade. She recalls, “I completely failed it.” She continues, “I didn’t go to summer school; I just went through everything again.”
“I had a tough family life… and I completely lost interest in school,” she recalls from the time. I didn’t finish what I was supposed to do. And I was the one who had to pay the price.”
She returned to school eventually, determined to achieve. She concentrated on her education in the years after that wake-up call. She went on to graduate in the top ten percent of her high school class.
She put her hurdle-jumping experience to good use in her pursuit of a college diploma. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University, which she calls “one of the greatest chemical engineering programs in the country.”
One of her first instructors in the profession was Michael Dickey. He talked about research options for college students in class. Shaw was itching to get a taste of research, so she summoned the courage to ask Dickey how she might help.
She admits, “It took a lot of courage.” However, inquiring paid off. Shaw joined a team that created sheets out of plastic or other polymer using origami-inspired techniques. The goal is to create Something that will self-fold into the desired shape in a controlled, multi-step process.
The designs are initially printed on the polymer with a variety of ink colors. These printed origami line art act as printed hinges, similar to how crease lines on paperwork. Each ink reacts to light in a particular way. Last year, the researchers published a report in Science Advances describing their method.
At a wavelength of 660 nanometers, cyan (SY-an) — or green-blue — ink absorbs around 80% of red light (nm). Red light is almost completely absorbed by yellow ink. As a result, when exposed to red light, cyan hinges fold, but yellow hinges remain unaffected. When 470 nm blue light is shone onto the polymer, the opposite occurs.
The researchers can control when each fold occurs by exposing the polymer sheets to different colors of light at different periods. When a color of light is absorbed by the polymer at one of the hinges, that piece of the polymer heats up. What’s the end result? The polymer in that area contracts and origami folds inward. The width of the hinge printed onto the polymer determines how much it folds.
Each polymer sheet’s ultimate folded shape was controlled by the team. They made anything from nested boxes to 3-D flowers this way. Other methods for folding these sheets into various forms exist. However, as the authors pointed out in a 2017 publication, they don’t provide researchers much control over the timing of the folds.
Because this folding with lights isn’t simply for fun, control is an important aspect of their approach. It could be utilized to make medical gadgets in the future. It could also develop products that are easier to ship. Customers could receive flattened merchandise. After that, light could be utilized to put them together in their final form. This type of product might likewise be simply unfolded and rebuilt at another location.
However, many of these applications would fail if researchers are unable to control the order in which parts are assembled.
Shaw earned his bachelor’s degree in 2014. She offers some encouraging words for anyone who aspires to be a scientist but has been told they aren’t cut out for it. She says, “If you’re interested in it, it’s for you.”
Bone mending is inspired by origami.
Gulden, like Shaw, Camci-Unal holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. She works in Lowell, Massachusetts, at the University of Massachusetts. Her work, unlike Shaw’s, does not center on light. Camci-Unal is a company that creates biomaterials. The ones she develops could one day be used to mend or even regenerate bone, heart muscle, blood arteries, skin, and other tissues.
She uses origami-folded paper to generate osteoblasts for her bone studies. These bone cells deposit minerals onto the paper as they grow.
She intends to implant these paper-cell combinations. The implants are unlikely to be rejected by the body’s immune system, according to her studies. There is more work to be done before they are ready to assist patients.
Camci-Unal has recently concentrated on strengthening the implant’s paper component. She’s also looked into how the paper might be broken down in the body once the implant’s bone component is in place.
Such implants may be utilized to help those who have been injured in the future. Parts generated in the lab could be used to mend or replace broken bones. They may also be beneficial to persons whose bones have not grown properly. Camci-Unal explains, “This method can be effective for patients with bone abnormalities of variable sizes and shapes.”
She employs mathematics to assess the qualities of her materials. She could, for example, calculate the strength of these lab-grown bones. She might also calculate how rapidly things degrade.
Camci-Unal recalls, “I used to adore arithmetic as a kid.” “I was good at it, and I believed it was simple to pick up.” She also enjoyed folding origami masterpieces, marveling at “how such a simple material, paper, can form such varied and complicated structures.”
She explains, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to work in engineering or medicine.” “I was fascinated by the various ways in which engineers and doctors influence daily life.”
Power words To help your origami skills
- 2-D Two-dimensional is abbreviated as 2D. This is an adjective describing Something that exists in a flat environment and can be characterized in only two dimensions: width and length.
- 3-D Three-dimensional is an abbreviation for three-dimensional. This is an adjective denoting Something that has three dimensions – height, width, and length.
- Abstract Something that exists in the real world as an idea or a notion but is not physical or tactile (touchable). Cars, trees, and water are physical and tangible, whereas beauty, love, and remembrance are abstractions.
- Acronym A term formed by merging some of the beginning letters or clusters of letters from several different words. Radio Detection And Ranging is an abbreviation for radio detection and range.
- Algebra Usually, it’s not just any number, but abstract phrases are incorporating numbers. For example, instead of saying “1 + 2 Equals 3” or “3 – 1 = 2,” algebra assigns a letter to each number. As a result, it now reads “a + b Equals c” or “c – a = b.” Any number, however, can be used in place of those characters as long as the values on both sides of the equal sign remain true. In other words, as long as c = 201, “a” can be 100, and “b” can be 101.
- Angle The distance between two intersecting lines or surfaces at or around the point where they meet (typically measured in degrees).
- Application Something’s specific usage or function.
- Array A large and well-organized collection of objects. They are sometimes instruments that are positioned in a systematic manner to collect data in a coordinated manner. An array can also refer to items that are arranged out or shown in a way that makes a large number of related items, such as colors, visible at the same time. The term can also refer to a variety of possibilities or alternatives.
- Articulated: parts of an object that are joined by joints are referred to as joints. Those joints allow you to move around. A human hand’s fingers are articulated with joints that allow each digit to flex slightly or significantly. This gives the hand the ability to grab, flick, or punch anything.
- Automaton: A mechanical mechanism or gadget that can perform pre-programmed, computer-controlled actions. In terms of shape, function, or tasks, some of these may resemble people. However, being a machine would function in a mechanistic manner, with little or no indication of emotion.
- Biology: The investigation of living things. Biologists are the researchers who study them.
- Vessel of blood A tube that transports blood across the body’s tissues and organs.
- Cell It comprises of a watery fluid surrounded by a membrane or wall, and is usually too small to view with the naked eye.
- Chemical A substance made up of two or more atoms bonded together in a certain proportion and structure. Water, for example, is created when two hydrogen atoms connect with one oxygen atom. H2O is its chemical formula. Chemical can also be used as an adjective to describe the properties of materials that are the consequence of numerous chemical reactions.
- Engineer (Chemical) A chemist who solves issues in the manufacture of food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, and a variety of other things using chemistry.
- A code (in computing) To write or revise a program that instructs a computer to perform a task using a particular language.
- Software on the computer A set of instructions used by a computer to execute a calculation or analysis. Computer programming is the process of writing these instructions.
- Debris Dispersed fragments, usually of rubbish or Something that has been obliterated. Defunct satellites and spacecraft, for example, are among the trash in space.
- Develop To appear or appear, either naturally or as a result of human activity, such as production.
- Engineering Math and science are used to tackle practical difficulties in this branch of study.
- Equation: The declaration that two quantities are equal in mathematics. Equations are frequently employed in geometry to determine the shape of a curve or surface.
- Field A field of study, as in Her research field, was biology. Also used to denote a real-world setting in which research is carried out, such as at sea, in the woods, on a mountainside, or on a city street.
- Force Some external forces that can affect a body’s motion, keep bodies close together, or cause motion or tension in a stationary body.
- Friction When one surface or object moves over or through another substance, it faces resistance (such as a fluid or a gas). Friction creates warmth, which can harm a material’s surface when it scrapes against another.
- Friction: When one surface or item passes over or through another substance, that surface or object encounters resistance (such as a fluid or a gas). Friction generates heat, which can be detrimental to the surface of a material when it scrapes against another.
- Fuel is any substance that produces energy via a controlled chemical or nuclear process. Coal, natural gas, and petroleum are all examples of fossil fuels that produce energy when heated (usually to the point of burning).
- Geometry In mathematics, the study of forms, notably points, lines, planes, curves, and surfaces.
- Graduate student Someone who is enrolled in classes and undertaking research in order to earn an advanced degree. This work is completed following the student’s graduation from college (usually with a four-year degree).
- Defensive mechanism Cells and their responses that enhance the body’s defense against diseases and foreign chemicals that may cause allergies.
- Implant A biological structure-replacement device, a device that maintains a damaged biological structure, or a device that improves an existing biological structure. Examples include artificial hips, knees, and teeth, as well as pacemakers and diabetic insulin pumps. Alternatively, a device is placed surgically inside an animal’s body to collect data on the individual (such as its temperature, blood pressure, or activity cycle).
- An innovative, smarter, more effective, or a more practical adaptation or improvement to an existing concept, technique, or product (v. to innovate; adj. inventive).
- Insect: As an adult, this is a type of arthropod with six segmented legs and three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen.
- Literally, A word that modifies a statement accurately. To say, “It’s so cold that I’m practically dying,” for example, implies that the speaker anticipates dying soon from exposure to extreme cold.
- mechanism The series of events or steps that cause Something to occur or “function.” It is probable that the spring is the one that forces material out of one hole and into another. Squeezing of the heart muscle, which is responsible for blood circulation throughout the body, could be the cause. The speed of a coasting car may be slowed by friction (between the road and the air). To better understand how Something works, researchers usually conduct investigations into the mechanism underlying actions and reactions.
- Secondary education: The phrase used in the American educational system to refer to grades six through eight. It takes place shortly prior to the start of high school. Sixth grade is classified as part of an elementary school in some districts, whereas grades seven and eight are classified as “junior” high school.