Origami Tessellations#

computational couture

I. About#

I created 2 different samples from the same code. Starting with an origami pattern from the Copper Hewitt collection.

Production files#



II. Materials#

i. Jean sample#

ii. PLA sample#

III. Process#

Paper prototype#

I started by making a paper prototype of the tessellation pattern. Here are instructions on how to:

The outcome was pretty satisfactory.


I then started to think about how I would express the pattern in code and the parameters I would like to be able to control. Working in grasshopper I created closed quadrilateral curves to mimic the pattern created by the creases. In my code I have the ability to set the number of the divisions – horizontally and vertically as well as the spacing between the shapes. I did that by scaling around the central vertex of the shape.

i. Jean sample production#

I exported the curves generated by my grasshopper script and laser cut into a fabric laminate. Using a board as my base, I first lasered the jean layer (top). Then the double sided fusible and finally I added my cotton base. Because the cotton fabric is the bottom base layer I did not cut the pattern into it.

To bond the textiles, I applied heat. To keep the pieces in place, I wouldn’t recommend moving the iron around – simply lifting it up and pressing it into the cloth.

This results in a flat pattern.

The individual pieces then had to be folded by hand and ironed once more in the folded stage to fix their position.

ii. PLA sample production#

My hypothesis was that given the rigidity of the PLA. The sample would not require heat to be configured into a tessellation. The process of 3D printing onto fabric was nuanced. After many hours of QA, I still had trouble with adhesion to the mesh.

Even my last “successful” sample which displayed healthy signs of adhesion during the print was not particularly well bound.

IV. Results#

i. Jean sample#

I was pretty pleased with how the jean sample turned out.

ii. PLA sample#

However my hypothesis proved to be true. The rigidity of the PLA worked favorably with the fabric base and I was able to go from completely flat to folded without the extra step of applying heat.