Origami Applications in the Past and Present


Lately, the art of origami has spread widely, and has caught the attention of young people and adults because it is an interesting and useful art that develops the skills. Origami is simply the art of folding paper to make shapes of different sizes and colors. Origami only uses flat white or colored sheets without the need of scissors or glue; it just uses simple tools for folding or flattening paper. The Japanese used origami for the first time in 700 CE following the invention of paper. Some historians believe that the Chinese were the first to use it; however, origami flourished in Japan.

Origami Techniques

The origami uses several folding techniques, which could be basic as the Mountain Fold and the Valley Fold, intermediate as the Rabbit Ear Fold and the Petal Fold, or more complex as the Unsink and the Closed Unsink. Several techniques could be merged for making multiple and unique forms.

The applications of origami evolved over the years for entertainment and educational purposes; yet, in the middle of the last century, there has been a quantum jump in its application that included several scientific fields. Let us get to know some of these applications in the past and the present.

Origami Applications in the Past

In the past, origami was used in decoration. For example, it was used to decorate letters and gifts, and to make animal and bird shapes, and toys using colored sheets and simple folding techniques.

The applications of origami in that period was simple and was only for entertainment. On the other hand, origami in the recent time is applied in several areas that may surprise you!

Origami Applications in the Present Time

  1. Architecture and Civil Engineering: Origami is used in the manufacturing of miniature models of bridges and stadiums.
  2. Medicine: Paper folding techniques are used to embody the cell membrane and protein, and are used in modeling DNA samples.
  3. Mechanical Engineering: Origami techniques were used in the pipes of the Japanese high speed trains. In-pipe supports were used to absorb the excess pressure; thus, reducing the risk of accidents.
  4. Mathematics: Some teachers currently use origami as an educational tool that helps in clarifying geometry, explaining fractions, and solving problems.
  5. Space technology: There are plans to launch an aircraft made using origami techniques into space. Tests have already been implemented in 2008, but it has not been launched yet.

To make an origami flapping bird, watch this video.



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