Unit Origami is a favorite set of folds for me. Based in Mathematics, unit origami is precise and logical. Tomoko Fuse is a great creator of many wonderful Origami units.
Her book Unit Origami was the first one I ever purchased. I have taught some of these forms to Jr. High school students and they have enjoyed them.
In some cases you can create something as small as a three-unit piece, and up to many-multiple units. The model pictured here is the Sonobe Star. Oh, and she is my favorite!!
The nice thing about the unit origami is that with the repetition of building each of the parts, you can actually get very good at building. Sometimes it's the unit origami that gets memorized. Really, after folding 25 of one thing, you might remember it after a while. Generally the folds for each bit are quite simple.
My art teacher said that after making 99 mug handles, you will finally get it right. Good thing that origami is not so picky.
Faceted Octahedron - by Denver Lawson
This is a unit I just learned, and it is made up of 6 fortune tellers (you know those things we made when we were kids and you chose colors and numbers?) There are a few tricks to it, but it makes a very sturdy and interesting piece.
Tips: Each fortune teller is made with two pieces of paper sandwiched together. This helps it lock in place. The inside piece of paper does not show, so you can use yucky stuff, but one way to make the edges really crisp is to crop that inner sheet just a bit smaller than your design paper.
Little Turtle - by Tomoko Fuse
This unit is made by putting together several "turtles". I've taught this one to many students. Each part is easy to make, and once you've folded a few they start to fly from your fingertips. The model shown here is a 12 unit, or you can go big and do the 24 unit. This series you can do a small 4 unit piece, but it's not my favorite.
I like to use a heavier paper on these models, it just makes them that more solid. The one shown here is paper that I decorated with a paste paint. (and that's another fun project for another fun web-page)
Decorative Cubes - by Lewis Simon
With this one you start with the standard square sheet of origami paper, and then it becomes "ribbons" that are put together. Many people will do this model and then link several units together to create a chain of them.
Trying to Figure this One Out
Unfortunately I don't know who designed this one, and I didn't even fold it. A friend of mine gave it to me and I don't have the heart to take it apart to figure it out. But this is a good example of using some different paper to fold with.
If anyone knows who's fold this is, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. I will keep looking through my vast library of books in hopes to find it.
Cuboctahedron - by Tomoko Fuse
This form is what Tomoko calls "intermediary stage". From this form you can create expanded models. One of those is illustrated below, and other forms include:
Compound Cube and Regular Octahedron
All quite a mouth full I say. Mixing plain colored paper with vibrant patterns make these models look playful and fun.
Cuboctahedron and Cube - by Tomoko Fuse
One of the variations of the intermediary Cuboctahedron.
This is amazingly solid done with origami paper...although this one pictured here has probably seen it's day. Many of the models I show in my blogs have traveled with me for years as I exhibit in schools. I will likely be updating these pictures soon so that I can show some nicer samples.
Octagonal Star - by Tomoko Fuse
This one takes many units and is very delicate, but I quite like it too. 26 pieces in this one. I made this one, and a teeny weeny one too...
Unit or Modular Origami Books
Here are some of the great books available to learn this great craft. My favorite of course is Tomoko Fuse "Unit Origami".
My Other Origami Sites
If you like the unit origami, try some of these other sites.
- Origami Boxes
The first origami model I folded was an origami box. Certainly not the easiest thing to fold for a first-timer, but after that first box I was hooked. I've been folding now for about 16 years, and my favorite is still by far the origami box. I've giv
- Origami Airplanes
Do you want to upgrade your paper airplane from school-boy to phenomenal?Origami airplanes take the standard paper airplane that we all learn to fold and and take it to the next degree. Create planes that glide and fly, planes that don't fly but look
- Origami Animals
When people think of origami, the first model that generally comes to mind is the crane. Regarded as the icon of the craft, the crane has a background routed in Japanese culture and history.When learning origami, it is easiest to start with animals.
Now that you've taken a look at some of the different units you can construct in origami, please let me know what you think. I will keep updating this lens with new creations as I come across them.