Today we will look at how to make modular origami. We will make step by step some of the most interesting designs.
Source of this article is the wonderful book Mind-Blowing Modular Origami.
If you want to learn how to make modular origami in 2023, this guide is for you!
I chose this model as the first in Wireframe section because it is relatively simple, although it seems complicated. When I first created it, I decided to make an octagon by connecting two different connections of four triangles, each with tetrahedral symmetry. When I finished my work, I realized that I could add more triangles, even more, and thus increased model from eight to sixteen triangles. This model has fewest number of blocks of any Wire Frame in this book. It is also the only model with octahedral symmetry in book.
Modular origami step-by-step
Total Time: 45 minutes
Step 1 – How to Make Modular Origami
The first four frames form the basic structure, to which further frames can be added. This set of four frames has a tetrahedral symmetry. The top right image shows a twofold symmetry and the top left image shows a threefold symmetry. Each triangle represents a facet of a tetrahedron. At this point it will be unstable, so the frame holders can be used as shown. Notice where the triangular axis appears on the left side of the diagram.
There will also be four of them following the vertices of the tetrahedron. The bilateral axes, three of which are marked on the right, appear six times and coincide with the faces of the tetrahedron. By recognizing the symmetry of the shape and its axes, you can begin to “intuitively understand” the mesh in less visible areas, which will prove important in many of the more complex patterns presented later in this volume.
Step 3 – How to Make Modular Origami
Above are eight images. Each triangle now represents a facet of an octahedron. There are six tetrahedral axes, as shown above on the left, and eight tetrahedral axes, as shown above on the right. Note that each triangle has the same interlacing relationship with every other triangle except the opposite triangle on the triple axis.
An example of one of these pairs is yellow and blue, as circled on the opposite side in the figure below right. These two triangles have the relationship shown in the figure below on the left to all other triangles except each other. As the symmetry of the shape becomes obvious, you should be able to guess where the three- and four-sided axes are on the other side of the model, using the octahedra below as a guide.
Step 5 – How to Make Modular Origami
Requires a little more understanding of the correct weaving. At this stage, the pattern has the symmetry of an octahedron plus a tetrahedron. Again, the set of four triangles is tetrahedral and has four tetrahedral axes representing the vertices of the tetrahedron. New tetrahedral axes must lie within four of the eight existing tetrahedral axes.
The circled frames are the new frames, the right image shows one of the new triangle axes, and the left image is a view from the exact opposite triangle axis. Although this step can be confusing at first, the model should now be relatively stable if assembled correctly, and it will be easier to work with.
Step 7 – How to Make Modular Origami
The previous four triangles were a tetrahedron that pierces the four faces of the octahedron; the remaining four are another tetrahedron that will fill in the remaining four triangle axes, as shown below left. There are four groups of four parallel triangles circled on the right.
If you have any doubts about the weaving, you can use this rule to check.
Step 9 – How to Make Modular Origami
Then check to make sure everything is correct. If you see a kink or other distortion, a mistake has probably been made somewhere.
The diagram below is not strictly necessary; it is just to illustrate the basic geometric relationship.
- Colored origami paper
Materials: Colored origami paper