The recent news of a process for creating balloons of any shape using 3D printed molds and sophisticated balloon deflating modelling, reminded me of two really cool ways for creating paper models.
First is TreeMaker by Robert Lang, an engineer and world-renowned origami master. Lang’s free and open source program lets the user specify the number and ratio of major “flaps” and it designs a base that should collapse into a model with that number and ratio of flaps. When folding an octopus, one uses a base with 9 flaps – 8 equal flaps for the eight legs and 1 shorter flap that forms the head. A giraffe would probably use five really long flaps (for the legs and neck) and one very short one (for the tail).
The second is a type of software that assists with creating papercraft models by exploding a 3D model into a flat pattern that, when cut out and assembled using glue and tabs, would create a physical paper version of the 3D model. There are several different programs that do this, but I’m not aware of any that are free or open source. 1
If you know of any versions that are either free or open source – please share!
It’s a quick OpenSCAD that don’t take in account some important aspects to make the models easyly printable. Take a look to the instructions and the scad script itself for more info.
Some more pictures: flickr.com/photos/aubenc/sets/72157628926382411/
- The wikipedia article provides several suggestions and links if you’re interested.
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