Heinz Strobl’s Snapology Project
Something I love about origami is being able to watch paper start at such a plain and basic form that we use everyday and become something so much more incredible and beautiful. I recently decided to try my hand at something that I’d found on the Internet a while ago, Snapology. I was surprised at how simple the technique is and how the results look. The models don’t take much time to actually fold, so before I knew it I had tried nearly a dozen of them; each one of them a little larger than the one before. I decided to try a very large model and document each of the steps. Here they are:
It starts with plain copier paper that you can find at any store that carries office supplies.
The paper is then cut into strips of a predetermined width (these are 1/2 an inch).
The strips are then pleated together; they look like little springs. I remember when I was little my dad would bring home the discarded strips of paper from the old dot-matrix printers they used at work; the printers that feed the paper through them by means of holes along the sides. You could then tear off and discard the strips with holes. My dad would bring these home sometimes for my sisters and I to play with. I remember constantly making these same type of “springs” with that paper.
After taking the painstaking time to make sure that all of the strips are pleated accurately (it’s very important to make sure they are kept as perpendicular to one another as possible), you turn around and take them apart. The strips now look like they’ve been sent through a paper crimper.
The strips of paper are then cut to specific lengths for the model that has been chosen. At this point there are about 180 of the small strips of blue paper.
And now for my favorite part of any modular or unit origami model: the assembly. I started with a decagon (10-sided) and attached squares and hexagons alternately to it.
From there I added 5 more decagons with the necessary squares and hexagons in between.
After that an additional 5 decagons are added for the next layer of assembly.
Finally the last (and 12th) decagon is added to complete the model.
Another shot of the final model to give a little perspective. It’s roughly the size of a softball.
The model I used is known as a Truncated Icosidodecahedron for anyone as geeky as myself that wants to know. It’s comprised of 12 decagons (10-sided), 20 hexagons (6-sided), and 30 squares. I didn’t actually clock how long it took me to cut, fold and assemble, but I estimate it was a solid couple of days total. Obviously this is the one that took the longest because its the largest. Something to note here is that there is no glue holding it together. The only cutting that was done was to get the strips, after that it was just folding and assembling.
The link to where I found instructions are here. The site is in both English and Polish. The instructions aren’t the most clear (it’s obvious that English is not the author’s first language) but still sufficiently detailed and has good pictures as a guide. The rest of the site is very impressive, with fantastic pictures of models that they’ve folded and lots of diagrams for other models.
Another site that has instructions about origami strip paper folding is here. I’ve done another model from here that I love, the Sphere 94. The original creator of Snapology is Heinz Strobl. If you get curious about some of the other things that he has created simply type his name into a search engine for images and you’ll find some very impressive pictures. I absolutely love that origami can be found so plentifully on the Internet at no charge; this hobby can truly be an inexpensive one. Having said that I still absolutely love my small collection of origami books that have taught me so much. Enjoy the pictures. I will post again soon the rest of the Snapology models that I folded.