Laser engraving on paper for origami creasing



Hey folks–I recently watched a PBS special called The Origami Revolution, about the use of origami in science and engineering. It’s a pretty cool show, highly recommended.

Anyway, early in the show was a demonstration by Robert Lang, noted origami expert, where he designed crease patterns on computer then used his laser engraver/cutter to engrave the patterns into his large sheet of folding paper. He was able to get extremely complex models this way.

He has also made available his Treemaker software for designing your own crease patterns.


Origami, physics, engineering, rocket science
Weekly Highlights for the Week Ending February 25th, 2017

Totally forgot all about orgami I haven’t done it in decades now I may go buy a book lol


I can’t watch it, region rights restrictions :unamused:


You can go to his website ( and there are links to other videos that show the laser creasing I believe.

In the Nova special there was another program, Origamizer, that another team developed for designing 3D origami models, that may also be of interest.


I saw this the other day and the connection to origami was interesting! Super interesting how it can free stand but also collapse down to be moved easily.


Is there an echo in here? :wink:


My post was probably delayed due to switching my wifi in order to watch the Nova show. Heh… But here’s another throwaway…

An interesting paper on thick origami folding, namely using things like living hinges or such on thicker material like plywood.


Thank you for sharing this. His artwork is amazing - especially when you note the scale of some of those pieces!

The software is exciting too. A friend and fellow leather mask maker jokingly refers to our work as “cow folding” or “cow-agami”. While most mask patterns are fairly straightforward, with larger or more elaborate designs the folding and shaping can get quite complex. Makes me wonder if Treemaker could help to design some of those intricate patterns, and eliminate a bit of the trial and error.


to be honest, i find the scored paper designs more interesting than the origami itself


Wow! This is really cool! Dr. Howell is a family friend (my dad’s former grad student), but I had no idea he was working on this application.


I’d love to have laser-assisted creasing; two other threads I passed through a while back might be fun reads: