Hacking is about pushing the envelope to discover new and clever ways to use things in ways their original designers never envisioned. [Charlyn Gonda]’s Hackaday Remoticon workshop “Making Glowly Origami” was exactly that; a combination of the art of origami with the one of LEDs. Check out the full course embedded below, and read on for a summary of what you’ll find.
The thesis of the workshop is that you don’t need elaborate thousand-LED strips and complex PCBAs to make an attractive volumetric light show, even relatively simple folded paper structures can produce enthralling effects. To illustrate this [Charlyn] walks the participants through a series of three increasingly complex origami techniques which can be composed to produce a variety of interesting shapes and structures.
The first is the Sonobe module, a simple combination of folds which doesn’t look like much on its own. But the Sonobe isn’t meant to stand apart, they are designed to be combined together to make polyhedrons of all shapes and sizes. Check out the image at the right for some examples of what they can be combined to create. The second design is long rectangle modified with a series of simple acordian-like mountain and valley folds. But again with a few tweaks this folded piece of paper can be used for more technical purposes. The final fold is a much more complex parallelogram of parallelograms which can be wrapped back on itself to make a twisted, flexible free-standing cylinder. [Charlyn] illustrates how these final two folds create a piece of paper which is flexible enough to grow and shrink, hold weight, and make other interesting dynamic structures, drawing parallels to architecture and inflatable space habitats alike.
If you want to follow along at home, check out the Hackaday.io page for folding templates and more discussion!