Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Origami or Paper Folding For The Frustrated!

I would guess that many of you at one time or another have tried to
fold a paper crane and see the wings flap.

How about folding up a lot of panels, launching in a rocket to then
unfold to make a big Fresnel lens for a space telescope.

Robert J. Lang is an expert on Origami and ways mathematics can be
used to design new and complicated ways you fold paper or even hard

Have you seen the 18 minute TED presentation?
[If you find that the file locks up you can also run the MP4 file]


Origami, as Robert Lang describes it, is simple: "You take a creature,
you combine it with a square, and you get an origami figure." But
Lang's own description belies the technicality of his art; indeed, his
creations inspire awe by sheer force of their intricacy. His
repertoire includes a snake with one thousand scales, a two-foot-tall
allosaurus skeleton, and a perfect replica of a Black Forest cuckoo
clock. Each work is the result of software (which Lang himself
pioneered) that manipulates thousands of mathematical calculations in
the production of a "folding map" of a single creature.

The marriage of mathematics and origami harkens back to Lang's own
childhood. As a first-grader, Lang proved far too clever for
elementary mathematics and quickly became bored, prompting his teacher
to give him a book on origami. His acuity for mathematics would lead
him to become a physicist at the California Institute of Technology,
and the owner of nearly fifty patents on lasers and optoelectronics.
Now a professional origami master, Lang practices his craft as both
artist and engineer, one day folding the smallest of insects and the
next the largest of space-bound telescope lenses.


Do you use mathematical programming related software?
Are you familiar with Mathematica?
- LRK -

Interactive Rings Tessellation

This demonstrates a rings-type origami tessellation. The left image is
the crease pattern: mountain folds are solid black; valley folds are
dashed magenta. The right side shows the folded form—the pattern you
would get if you folded the crease pattern from translucent paper. The
controls affect various parameters that define the design.

Contributed by: Robert J. Lang

So the next time you are frustrated by trying to make those creases
and folds with a piece of paper, just think, you might be designing a
large space structure to be launched in a small package. lofted to
space on a rocket. Maybe your kids can solve the problem. :-)

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Robert J. Lang Origami

Mathematical Links

Reference Finder [want to trisec an angle?]

The Fold-and-Cut Problem

Take a piece of paper, fold it into any flat origami, and make one
complete straight cut (i.e., a cut along a line). Now unfold the
pieces, and see what you get. Are all shapes possible? Refering back
to the original sheet of paper, what patterns of cuts can be achieved
by this process?

Several examples are now available for viewing and printing.

Now open up your mind and think beyond the coffee table. - LRK -
Scientists developing origami spacecraft

February 08, 2008 04:08pm

A SPACECRAFT made of folded paper zooming through the skies may sound
far-fetched, but Japanese scientists plan to launch paper planes from
the International Space Station to see if they make it back to Earth.

Earlier this week, the University of Tokyo researchers tested small,
origami planes made of special paper for 30 seconds in 250 degrees
Celsius heat and wind at seven times the speed of sound. The planes
survived the wind tunnel test intact.

The theory is that paper craft, being much lighter than space
shuttles, may escape the worst of the friction and heat that much
heavier space shuttles face on re-entry to the atmosphere.

"Paper planes are extremely light so they slow down when the air is
thin and can gradually descend," said Shinji Suzuki, a professor of
aerospace engineering.

Professor Suzuki said the technology might one day be used for
unmanned spacecraft.

In case you might be interested, books by Robert J. Lang at
TinyUrl for

or on his website.




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