I called this post “Origami Inspirations” because that’s the name of the book I used to produce all the models in these photos (except the slinky on the left). The book is by Meenakshi Mukerji, and it was given to me by someone who noticed I was on a modular origami binge. Mukerji gives a nice concise introduction to the origami techniques needed for her models, including charts on how to distribute different coloured units evenly around the different shapes. She even provides a few mathematical proofs for the nerds like me. She starts off nice and easy with simple cubes. The cube in the first photo here is called a “ray cube”. There are four units making up the pattern on each of the six faces of the cube.
By the way, I was quite happy with the way the slinky turned out. It makes a very satisfying noise as it falls from one hand to the other. I would have liked to have made it longer but it was gobbling up too much of my precious square origami paper.
The yellow model in the second photo is still a cube but with one fancy unit (based on a four-sink windmill base) for each of the six faces. It’s called a “butterfly cube”.
The third photo shows models made with pentagonal pieces of paper. Mukerji gives instructions on how to cut a pentagon from a square sheet of paper, along with a geometrical proof showing that the method should indeed produce a true pentagon. On the left of the photo is a five-petaled lilly, which looks a little more realistic than the four-petaled version made with a square. To its right is a dodecahedron with a flower-shape on each of the twelve faces. Each of the twelve flower units is joined to its neighbours by five diamond-shaped units. Unfortunately, unlike the other models, I had to glue this one together because it kept falling to pieces as I made it. So I’ve really gone over to the Dark Side now! 😉 (Origami purists don’t use glue – I used to be a snob about such things.)
The final photo shows a dodecahedron made from a unit that Mukerji calls “whipped cream”. Pretty, doncha think? I started building it around the other dodecahedron but it turns out that less is more: Pretty + Pretty = Hideous!
So, how about you? Have you ever tried modular origami? How do you feel about mathematical proofs, slinkies and/or glue?