Math + Making

A student blog for Math 189AH: Making Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College

Modular Origami

Jonathon Roberts

Creating a polypompholyx-like shape

I was inspired by the level of depth in geometric patterns there are in sophisticated origami designs. At first, I didn’t know what structure I wanted to create, so I researched cool designs online. Ultimately, I decided to create a star sonobe shape. I liked the spikey structure with the star indents of the shape.

I went to the Makerspace and gathered 30 pieces of origami(yellow and red/purple paper). The first step I did was do the necessary folds for each paper.

Then, the next steps are to incorporate each piece onto each other recursively. There’s a pattern to how each piece fits into a slot.

After inserting every piece onto the existing big piece, we have every piece attached and here’s the result:

Reflecting on creating the star sonobe, I appreciate the complexity of origami art a lot more. In the middle of creating the origami structure, I thought I made a mistake and didn’t think I would be able to complete the shape. After a while, I started seeing patterns in the angle alignments and learned the pattern of creating the stars.

After this project, I would definitely explore more modular origami designs. This was a very fun project!


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