Origami with the Glowforge


Hi all! First post here, since I got my Glowforge a week ago!
I love origami, and I wanted to try new techniques with laser cutting. Here are first examples, using designs by the great Robert J. Lang http://www.langorigami.com/. I am still learning a lot about scoring paper without cutting it: I am using the lowest power setting, but the laser still goes through the paper at the beginning and end of each line. I might have to use engraving techniques to avoid that problem in the future. Any tips on how to improve this would be appreciated. Anyway, here are pictures of my first tries!

Oval tesselation by Robert J. Lang

Acoma Pot 12 by Robert J. Lang

Left to right: Quezadan Pot 12, Acoma Pot 12 & Quezadan Pot 13 by Robert J. Lang

Davidic Resch 1 by Robert J. Lang.


Wow. How did you do this? Please enlighten me!!!:grin::+1::glowforge:


These are fantastic, I was hand scoring Ron Resch designs last year. Takes an age by hand, can’t wait to try some out on the laser.


I’ve tried at scoring paper and thin cardstock but the glowforge is too powerful for this operation to just score. Engraving is an option but takes 100 times longer (depending on the LPI. I hope that in the future it will be possible to score at a faster speed or even lower power. <1!




Really incredible! :eye::eye:


I love your fabulous origami pieces! The choice of card stock is wonderful too, really brings out the best in the designs.


Recursive tesselation folds like that are tricky. Well done.

As for overburn, that’s tricky, as the “extend the cut past the end” trick can’t work here. The “slow the laser down” trick won’t help either, as you need a really light touch. Using a thicker paper is also off the table, for obvious reasons.

Glowforge has heard suggestions and talked about ways to compensate for overburn (dropping power during acceleration or deceleration at the ends of lines and corners) but of course there’s no guarantee that it’s coming.

Maybe the thing to do is embrace the fact that it cuts, and go for micro perforations instead of scoring? You can convert vector lines into dashed/dotted vector lines in inkscape. Might change the look too much but could be worth a shot. Bonus points, you could use different dash/dot patterns for mountain vs valley.

The good news in that you’re getting great results!


Really cool that you can do this on the Glowforge!


Holy cow, that’s one I can get into! Those look nice. :grinning:
(Not sure if it will completely eliminate the spotting, but you can try defocusing the scores - it will burn more shallowly.)


Wow! If this is what you are already making, I can’t wait to see what you make in a month!


This is what I need to know for settings! Paper! I just got mine last night, and I can’t seem to get the right settings for scoring with paper similar to yours. What do you have your settings at for both cuts and scores? I think I have a good setting for cuts, but I’m always open to testing out more.


This is absolutely amazing.


Sweet! I’ve wondered if this was possible for a while now. Thanks for sharing.


Some beautiful pieces … Thank you for posting!


Love this. Absolutely fantastic. I was thinking of trying something like this with motor driven structures that move and respond to touch. Great work.


You have my attention!


Embed a flex sensor or possibly some of this

with some thin wire woven through an origami structure attached to servos and suddenly you’ve got structures that react to your touch. Paper flowers that close or retract onto themselves when touched, then slowly re-emerge for example.


Oh how beautiful! It had never occurred to me that lasers could be used to aid in origami. Really lovely work :slight_smile:


I’ve had pretty good luck with laser scoring fold lines on cover stocks of various sorts so far. So, it may depend on the stock you are using. For example, I have been using power of 20, speed of 500 (20 / 500) to score 100lb Hammermill cover.

I have had some issues with it cutting all the way through at the start and stop of score lines but, not always.

The dotted or dashed line thing mentioned by @evansd2 is also widely-used by people working with lasers and paper. I’m generally not happy with the aesthetic doing that, though.