Dodecahedron Modular Origami

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Introduction: Dodecahedron Modular Origami

Follow these steps to make a beautiful dodecahedron model. Even if you've never done origami before, the units are so easy to fold that you shouldn't have a problem. You should be able to follow just by looking at the steps but I'll explain them too. The hardest part is making all 30 units but if you can survive that you will soon have a dodecahedron model of your own. 


Step 1:

You will need:
-30 pieces of silver foil origami paper
-something to hang the ornament with such as string, a paperclip, or an ornament hook


I used 1.5 inch pieces which is on the smaller side but since it's foil it holds a crease really well. This ended up making an ornament that fit in the palm of my hand. 

Step 2:

Fold the paper in half, silver side in. Now fold the flap up to the middle crease and repeat on the other side. 

Step 3:

Position the unit as show in the picture, with the middle crease facing you. Now fold the bottom left corner to meet the top edge. Fold the top left corner to meet the bottom edge. 

Step 4:

Now you want to crease a diagonal line into the unit as shown. The best way that I can explain this is that you want to fold from one corner of the triangle to the other. 

Unfold the flaps a little so that you have a strip with creases in it. Once you make 30 of these, it'll be time to assemble.  

Step 5:

Start by connecting 3 units together. Open up the flap of one unit and insert a second one into it. Add a third one into the second one and then tuck the first one into the third one. You'll see how the crease lines match up and hold the units in place. 

Step 6:

Continue connecting units like this until a pentagon shape is made, as shown in the picture. Keep attaching more units and making more pentagons. It can get a little difficult to attach the last few units but keep at it and you'll get it. 

You can now add a string and thread it through where 3 units meet or similarly attach a bent paperclip or ornament hook. These look great hanging!

Holiday Gifts Challenge

Participated in the
Holiday Gifts Challenge

1 Person Made This Project!

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11 Comments

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dodecahedron-nitpicker
dodecahedron-nitpicker

10 months ago

I tried making this out of some *extremely* stiff card. This led to quite a lot of distortion and warping, so I recommend sticking to normal paper.

One far-from-obvious thing I learned along the way is that although the instructions above call for the units to be folded out of pieces of paper that are perfectly square, you should actually take them to be ever so slightly off-square. You see, the reason these instructions work so well at all is thanks to the numerical accident that 0.5 + 0.25 tan 63 is almost exactly equal to 1, with only a 1% margin of error. This number is the correct width-to-height ratio you should use to get the units to fit together absolutely perfectly. The crease pattern would look like this:

However, that's only in theory! In practice, you can get away with folding the units out of squares, and even though they won't technically fit together perfectly, this effect will be completely swamped by the errors from your folding, the bending of the paper, the paper having a nonzero thickness, etc. The main conclusion of all this was that whoever came up with this design in the first place was very smart.

correctangle-2.png
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LittleBilly
LittleBilly

4 years ago

I can't figure out how to put the units tigether

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YeY3
YeY3

5 years ago

Great and I wanna try also.I love making handmades.

0
artisnotfart
artisnotfart

9 years ago on Introduction

I'm glad u won but Im curious who was the shiny jacket for?

(sorry for being nosy)

0
sherrycayheyhey
sherrycayheyhey

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Can't tell you until the person gets it :) though I'm sure if the person reads this they will know it is them because they will probably have not gotten a gift from me (assuming the jacket doesn't show up in time for the holiday)

0
sherrycayheyhey
sherrycayheyhey

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Thank you. It's hard to photograph it and make it look good but when you see one in person you can see the shape better and it's really nice.

0
rimar2000
rimar2000

9 years ago on Introduction

Beautiful!

But a little difficult to understand, for me. May be if I do it, can understand "on the fly"

0
sherrycayheyhey
sherrycayheyhey

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

If you look at the pictures and have a piece of paper in front of you I'm sure you'll have a much easier time than if you're just reading the text. I'm hoping that the pictures explain well enough but that the text can explain if someone gets stuck. I was thinking about how to explain it in an easy way but then I realized that all the origami I've learned has been from diagrams or watching someone else and I think that is for a very good reason lol!