Friday, June 26, 2009

The Tomoko Twist Transformation Trials.

Some of my LA folding friends have been redesigning one of Tomoko Fuse's modular twisted boxes for single sheets of paper.

The blue and purple box is a copy of the original Fuse box (minus the lid). It is made from two squares of paper.

Jim Cowling from the LA folding community redesigned this box for a single dollar bill: that is, a sheet of paper with dimensions which are 4-1/4" x 11" or multiples thereof. John Andrisan designed a dollar bill sized lid for this box.

Here are examples folded by the designers in ordinary copy paper and standard origami kami.

Here is how these boxes differ from the original Fuse design. The Fuse box (sounds electrical doesn't it?) is on the right (the grey one), the Cowling-Andrisan box is on the left (the green one). The folded sheets show how the pattern looks when folded with one dollar-sized piece of paper versus how the pattern looks when folded with two square pieces of paper (the Fuse original).

I have uploaded a copy of the Cowling-Andrisan one-sheet pattern. There are no indications of which direction the creases are to be folded (whether valley or mountain) but the photos should help sort this out. Failing that, fiddle until it looks about right. It works for me. :-)

The model looks good when folded with dollar bills, as intended. The one in green is the LA version folded by the designers.

The one in grey is my rendition of the Dollar Bill version made from a photocopied facsimile. I modified the floor slightly from the LA original. I just can't leave good designs alone :-)

Not to be outdone, I went about designing a version for an American Legal sized sheet. Here is what I came up with.

The base has a pleat in it which adds some interest. There are two versions of the lid. (Actually I came up with about a dozen of them, but these two appealed to me the most.)

The decoration on the tops of the lids is achieved by folding the roof of the lid inside out so that the bulky stuff is on top.

If the paper is thin enough there is no need to shorten the paper for the bottom. The lid on the pink box is slightly sloppy. The bottom was made with paper with a quarter inch removed on the long axis. I think it would have been better with only 1/8" removed. The cream lid fits on the brown box a little too snuggly; one side of the brown box bows slightly.

This is a relatively quick box to fold, but it is not for beginners. The main challenges are dividing the sheets into nine parts on the long axis, folding them accurately into squares on the short axis (with a little bit left over). The next challenge is to tuck one end into the other before folding up the floor (or the top of the lid).

I solved the division process by pinch creasing the long sheet at the half way point on both ends. Then I took out my Division Helper (see one of the first entries in my blog) and lined the mid-point of the paper up to the 4-1/2 line and a side to the zero line. Holding the paper down firmly on the far side I folded the zero edge to the 4 line and repeated that on the other side. The rest of the creases can be derived from these two.

Folding accurate squares is tricky. First I pinch folded a triangle on both bottom corners, spanning two sections. Than I lined up the ends of the pinch creases and folded a line across the page. I used the accordion method to fold the paper into more or less "accurate" large squares (two by two), then I halved these. The side with the excess paper is the bottom of the folding page. The rim of the box or lid is folded from the top line of squares.

Tucking one end into another requires patience. A colorful vocabulary sometimes helps as well. I fold the floor section up against the walls and then fold the model flat on one of the original division creases. I start by sliding the floor sections together (hold with a hair pin or clip). Then I squared up the model before sliding the pleated sections together. Finally, I line up the top sections and roll over the rim. It helps to start folding the floor partially down before completing this step because it gets in the way of the rim. An alternative is to use a strong clip to hold the cross-over piece at the rim, continue with the floor folding and return to fold over the rim at the end.

The rest is relatively easy. I said, relatively.