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Sunday, March 19, 2017

You've Got to Know When to Fold 'Em: Origami, Science, and Engineering

     Origami, the ancient art of Japanese paper folding, is used extensively in creating scientific and engineering products that rely on careful packing and unpacking.

      Origami is not just for a thousand paper cranes any longer. . .

        Space Station and satellite shields and solar arrays must be carefully packed for the trip to space then unpacked once in orbit.

     These giant panels start out in paper and computer models.

      Robert Lang is a leader in the field of origami applications. This excellent 5-minute video shows Lang and others from Brigham Young University, UT, and the myriad origami-inspired creations.

     In addition, origami inspired microscopic folds in medical products, on the order of nanometers.

           The movement in these origami unpackings is often quite graceful.

     One Christmas, ZoĆ« made me a thousand origami cranes. That was a wonderful, graceful unpacking!

     Do you use origami, either for fun and/or scientific/engineering purposes? 

Time to fold,

Today, the Brown "Tourmalion" Marble in the elevator made me smile. I like both tourmaline and tourmalion, roar. . . ;-)


  1. Yeah, 82 degrees today but we had a wildfire in Boulder, too. The ground and trees are crunchy dry.

  2. A couple of years ago, we saw a great exhibit of origami at The Cooper Union, in NY. The website for the exhibition itself seems to be dead, but you can see pictures of many of the exhibits at some of the media sites listed.

    1. Wow! St. Michael, the archangel is incredible. I also like the "constrained bowl." {The Huffington Post site was helpful.}

  3. Happy spring!

    Predictive text changes vernal to verbal. I rather like verbal equinox. . .

  4. The closest I ever came to participating in the art of origami was to make paper airplanes as a kid...

    Except perhaps for last May when I wed origami to marriage wedding reception tables. See the "I Do Espouse Appetizer: An utterly united state."


    1. I wonder if origami enthusiasts must deal with a myriad of paper cuts before they make the cut. . .{with no cuts, of course}.

    2. Lego, I still make paper airplanes.

  5. ^^^ See end of post for an image of Brown "Tourmalion" Marble from the French Riviera.

    Brown tourmaline can be spectacular (though silent, unlike tourmalion ;-)).

  6. Replies
    1. I heard about this on Morning Edition today. The link to the original article is broken on the Smithsonian page; here is the correct link.

      The work was done at UNC in Chapel Hill; where my niece will be starting in the Fall. Go Tar(digrade)heels!

    2. jan, congrats to your niece. Tardigradeheels is perfect. A water bear mascot would live forever!

      The unorganized proteins of some tardigrades led me to exploring unorganized vs. disorganized.

      It's not chaos, it's just not organized yet (kind of like my desk).

    3. It's pretty windy here now, but tomorrow will be disgusted?

  7. New post on "Smoking Smoke Rings: Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy, and More" is now up!