Origami is the Japanese art of paperfolding. Believe it or
not, I was interested in this before I went to Japan, but my trip
turned a casual pasttime into a wonderful hobby.
A current obsession of mine is unit origami. Instead
of making an object, like the tsuru (traditional crane), out of one piece
of paper, many units are folded the same way and assembled in various ways
to create many different geometric shapes. One of the first shapes that
I learned is the Sonobe Cube, a simple cube made with six units.
This unit was designed by Sonobe Mitsunobu, thus the name.
Here's my attempt to show through the wonderful two-dimensional
world of CRTs how to make this cube. I will apologize, up front, that some
of this might not make alot of sense. I have done my best with the technology
I have to make these instructions as clear as possible. Enjoy.
Almost any type of paper can be used. You do not need to
go out and buy origami paper. As long as the paper is square, it can be
folded. Any size of paper will do, but, for starting, paper of 150mm ×
150mm is best; folding and assembly will be easier. With experience, certain
paper types will be preferred. I do use origami paper because the
paper comes with a colored side, is square, and the folds are clean.
Take care in folding - your patience will be rewarded
in crisp folds that make assembly much easier and the final object neat
I have attempted with my limited artistic ability and the
fact that drawing with a mouse is much like drawing with a bar of soap
except without the precision to include the internationally accepted symbols
used in my pictures. I have not included the full set of symbols here:
only the required ones for what I am presenting. They are reasonably self-explanatory.
To make the Sonobe Cube, six identical units must be folded.
It is important to do all the folds the same way. Reversing/mirroring step
three will change the unit so that it will not fit with the others. After
identically folding the six units required, fold one more unit and mirror
step three by making the corner folds on the opposite corners and continuing
on with the folds. You will find that this unit will, in no way, fit properly
with the other six units you have folded.
||Steps Six and Seven:
||The completed Unit:
About the only thing to note here is that the units are at right angles
to each other. I hope this drawing gives enough detail into the assembly.
It is so much easier to be shown this in real space.
The Sonobe cube
Click on the cube to see a real picture of the cube.
Kanayama Izumi and a young woman in Japan whose name eludes
me for the moment (gomen nasai!) deserve special mention. Their kindness
is greatly appreciated.
The following books were used in the creation of this
Fuse, Tomoko. 1990. Unit Origami. Tokyo:
Japan Publications, Inc.
Original page written by firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original html code and drawings done on an Apple IIgs computer.
Mulatinho, Paulo. 1995. Origami. Oxfordshire: