0xDE (11011110) wrote,

Houdini's trick, implemented

Houdini's most famous magical act was as an escape artist, but one of his other tricks, which some coauthors and I wrote about some time ago, involved origami-like constructions, in which a piece of paper was carefully folded, then cut along a single line, and unfolded to produce complex shapes. Erik Demaine has evidence that this problem dates back at least to early-18th-century Japan. In our paper (and others roughly contemporaneously by different sets of authors) we showed that any polygon can be cut in this way.

Anyway, now there's an open-source implementation called JOrigami, due to a Brazilian team of programmers involving Paulo Silveira, Rafael Cosentino, José Coelho, and Deise Aoki. Their web site has lots of pretty pictures of what look like quite difficult folding patterns...
Tags: origami, tools
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