Dorcas/Sophie: Research Plan

Concept Statement

In order to explore how to accommodate a hands-on learning style through visualization of tactile experiences, we are creating an interactive origami book with self-folding pages that portray each step of the process from the first fold to the last fold for the reader. In terms of the physical process,  the instructions would be printed on one side in the book and then the other side would be a cut out of the corresponding origami step on shrinky dink film. The reader should have their own paper to follow along and fold. The plastic will be printed on with an inkjet printer of different colored lines. With the light of a complementary color, the reader will shine it on the cut out to watch it fold in order to see where they should make their own folds. By having multiple corresponding colors, we can control the order of the folds. Our target demographic is 13 years old and older. We find the novelty of the self folding origami to be a heavy focus for our readers in the final result, but that novelty is followed with understanding of how an object is translated across 2D and 3D space. In general, we find that the application of self-folding material under light could be applied in other fields, especially in environments requiring sterility. In the entertainment space, we can also see how this application could be useful in film to create changes in scenery or sets naturally without manually moving equipment.

Experiment steps:


We will be attempting to fold a thin polymer film according to predefined lines. Heating the pre-strained film relieves this strain, and areas with the black lines absorb more light/heat than the rest of the piece, so these lines should form creases.

  1. Print folding pattern onto the polymer film, using a laserjet printer
  2. Heat stove/hot plate to 90C. Make sure this temp does not exceed 105C
  3. Place printed film onto hot plate/stove top and shine lamp directly onto sample, encouraging folding.

Sample folding patterns:

Printable Shapes

Bill of Materials:

shrink film6 8.5×11″ sheets$5.59×11/dp/B000KNPKIE/ref=asc_df_B000KNPKIE/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167145785190&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2668142970591802133&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9005925&hvtargid=pla-153326801835&psc=1
hot plate (with temp display)1$29.99
14watts LED lamp1$25.88


Liu, Y., Shaw, B., Dickey, M. D., & Genzer, J. (2017). Sequential self-folding of polymer sheets. Science Advances, 3(3). doi:10.1126/sciadv.1602417

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