VISIT ALL THE POSTS IN OUR 3D ORIGAMI HOW-TO SERIES!
3D Origami: Introduction
3D Origami: Part 1 – Fold the Component Pieces
3D Origami: Part 2 – Make a Ring Base
3D Origami: Part 3 – Coming Soon!
3D ORIGAMI: PART 2 – CREATE THE RING BASE
Now that you have made a large pile of triangular component pieces (see “Part 1: Fold the Component Pieces“), we can start to build a ring base! A ring base is a versatile foundation for any 3D origami creation. On the left is a ring base alone; on the right is a ring base as the foundation of a 3D origami swan.
In this tutorial, we will make a ring base of 30 component pieces. Please note that you may alter the number of component pieces in your ring base to make larger or smaller 3D origami creations. Shall we begin?
1. First, make sure you have a sufficient number of component pieces. For a ring base of 30, you will require 60 component pieces for the base itself. Of course, you should make extra for the rest of your origami sculpture.
2. Note that each component piece is a right triangle. One leg of the right triangle has two “pockets” (red arrows) while the other leg has two “wings” (blue arrows).
3. Insert the left wing of one component piece (B) into the right pocket of another component piece (A). Make sure that the component pieces are facing the same direction (i.e., that the right triangle component pieces are parallel).
4. Then insert the right wing of a new component piece (C) into the other pocket (A).
Here’s what your 3-component-piece unit should look like from the front and back, front and side.
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with new component pieces until you have 15 sets of 3-component-piece units.
6. Hold 2 sets of your 3-component-piece units (E & F) side-by-side. Take a new component piece (D) to join these 2 sets together. The right-most wing of E should go into the left pocket of D; the left-most wing of F should go into the right pocket of D.
Now you have created a 7-component-piece unit. Here’s what it should look like from the front and back.
7. Repeat Step 5 until you have 7 sets of 7-component-piece units. Since we have an odd number, the 8th set will be a 3-component-piece-unit, which I’m holding in the picture.
8. Hold 2 sets of 7-component-piece units side-by-side. Take a new single component piece to join these 2 units together. This is analagous to the previous step – you’ve got the hang of it! We are assembling these in smaller units because assembling a long chain becomes unwieldy!
9. Continue joining sets until you’ve made a semicircle. Make this a complete circle by using your final single component piece to join together the wings on either side of the semicircle.
10. There you have it – you’re done! You’ve made a ring base of 30. It should feel sturdy at this point, not requiring glue. You can tighten it (but not too much, please) by pushing the outer layer into the inner layer of component pieces. As we add more layers later, the structure will be further strengthened. Here is a view of the top and bottom of your completed ring base.
The entire process of modular origami is very simple once you have learned the basics. Here are a couple of images to help with troubleshooting. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I’ll be happy to help!
Troubleshooting #1: Make sure that the correct wing of your component piece goes into the correct pocket of another component piece.
Troubleshooting #2: Make sure that all of your component pieces are facing the same direction (i.e., all hypotenuses of all component pieces should be parallel).
Congratulations on making your 3D origami ring base. Hopefully you made many more than 60 component pieces so that we can go onto Part 3. Stay tuned – happy folding!
Until next time,
Kathy May and Silas