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Origami Simulator (amandaghassaei.com)
284 points by doppp on Feb 14, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 37 comments

Absolutely lovely. I started folding when I was seven years old and the birdbase - the basis of the flapping bird and thousands of other models - eluded me for weeks because I couldn't fill the gaps between the two diagrams I had in front. Seeing it happen like this would have instantly unlocked that. Of course, it would have ruined the sense of satisfaction too, but hey. Cracking work.

A couple more interesting projects at http://www.amandaghassaei.com/

Says my browser is not supported (Chrome Android) though I can see the app working behind the message (and interact with it).

Same with iOS safari. Perhaps there’s some parts of it that don’t work?

Safari is the worst browser currently available at a mass level.

It's been that way for years. I suppose it comes down to Apple's priorities, though I know they've intended to change that in the past year.

Also here's a video from Strange Loop 2017, "Origami Software from Scratch" by Robby Kraft:


Some linguistic trivia: the word origami is a Japanese compound of "fold" (折り - ori) and "paper" (紙 - kami), literally translating to "fold paper" (折り紙 - origami).

More precisely, the verb is 折る (oru) and 折り (ori) is the continuative/noun form, 連用形 (ren’youkei), so it’s “folding paper”.

The parent comment pas paper as 'kami', yet the 'k' morphs into a 'g' in the final word. Is this common in Japanese? I've not seen it much outside of Welsh, my own mother tongue.

Interesting. Yes, it's common. If you're interested you can read about it on wikipedia[0] and a bit more in depth here[1].

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendaku

[1]: http://linguistics.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/978019...

You're right, thank you for clarifying.

Is it just me or is it not animating correctly? It loads and I can pan/zoom around the sheet with the crease lines, but it doesn't actually animate the folds. I tried dragging the slider like the instructions say as well as trying interactive mode, but it doesn't do anything.

Still, I can guess what it is supposed to do and this is really neat.

dragging the slider all the way to the left takes you to -100% (which doesn't make a lot of sense because it looks complete, just inverted). Find 0% on the slider and do the manipulation from there

Her entire website is full of impressive demos:


The work of a grad student who is unbelievably currently looking for work in the SF/Bay Area:


Programming Languages: C++ (embedded), Objective C/iOS, Python, JavaScript, Node, Java, MATLAB, Mathematica

I'd insta offer if she had C# experience, but I'm sure she'd love to hear from SF companies matching her interests and existing skill sets.

I toggled the Allow User Interaction button and was able to click and drag a corner of the paper around, which was pretty neat.

But I found myself wanting to multi-touch the screen, to hold one edge while moving another. I felt as though the mouse/touchpad interactions we have available are far less expressive than holding and manipulating the paper with our bare hands.

I have always seen origami as childsplay to learn spatial understanding. It turns our that folding science is applicable in many fields! Proteins, buildings, airplanes and many more objects found in nature and human designs apply origami in surprising ways. The most interesting one I found was flowers; how they fold out when starting to blossom.

Space too, NASA turned to origami to design folding panels for radiators on space ships. Makes sense if you think about it, they need to compact a large sheet into as little space as possible and in a way that it can be unfurled smoothly.

> https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/nasa-s-new-shape-s...

It's also inspired some pretty deep mathematical theory in computational geometry, topology etc.

This is excellent. I'm taking a paper engineering class right now and will learn a lot from this. Thank you for making it.

Do you have a link to the class? This sounds really interesting.

Unfortunately I don't. The Professor isn't putting anything online.

He did recommend some online resources for us to use though.

There's this youtube channel:


And this book:


I also have this book:


But find it to be very difficult. Not for beginners by any means.

That should help get you started.

This is brilliant. Absolutely. Already sent on to my origami mad sister. The only thing I wish it did was tell you what example file you loaded, if you are forgetful and have to go hunting around for it again just because you forgot the name then that makes it harder to recommend what model example to open first.

Last time I made some origami was actually for a card for my Japanese neighbour, for this I used paper with a design on and made regular cranes. This project could be monetizable if you could buy paper designs and see how said paper would work in the finished model. Plus what happens if you rotate the design or flip it over? This would be nice to preview so less prototypes have to be physically folded.

Although my origami efforts were received gratefully, I did wonder afterwards whether this was some type of cultural appropriation going on, would I give a French person homemade smelly cheese?

Finding projects like this make me feel so so so happy for living in this century.

Tried this in VR (via https://www.supermedium.com/) and was very impressed.

Nice! We've been demoing this one at YC dinners a lot. People always enjoy this one. Always funny to see people's reactions when their origami floats away, and we need to teach them how to reset it.

Origami was a subject of 2016 installment of <a href="http://icfpconference.org/contest.html">ICFPC</a>. Many dozens of arbitrary-precision origami engines were written in those 72 hours.

If you want to try it in VR, we are featuring it in Supermedium, a full VR browser, which makes Origami Simulator easy to access (click a link in VR). It's been one of the more popular VR sites to visit!


Select "crane" and rotate to view the bottom. You'll see multiple planes passing through each other

I tried doing something like this with Flash back in the day and fell on my ass pretty hard. Well done

Thanks. I did old-school origami (step by step guides) back in high school and have been meaning to learn how the newer "crease pattern" based stuff works. This looks like it'd be a useful tool in that pursuit.

This app does NOT like phones. It's like its furious at me for even trying. :)

Beautiful job!!

I find immense pleasure in looking at 3d-structures like this. Sometimes I just close my eyes and try to visualize these, the task seems to be so complex for my brain that it really shuts off every other thought I have.

Intersection of arts and physics is inspiring. Origami has been applied in various research ranging from nanobots to the shapes of the solar panels in space.

Is there software that turns an uploaded/created arbitrary 3D shape into 2D creases on a rectangular sheet needed to create it?

There are definitely algorithms for UV unwrapping of polygonal models onto texture maps, under various constraints. I'm sure you could persuade one of those to generate you a net from a 3D model.

Here's an instructible on it: http://www.instructables.com/id/Design-Papercrafts-with-CAD-...

Edit: Software for doing what you want here: http://www.tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura-en/

great project! would also be fun to have an editor and fold your own origami from a flat 2d plane, like an origami CAD engine :)

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