Posted by: Dave Richeson | October 7, 2008

Cutting and folding paper

Inspired by Chaim Goodman-Strauss’s recent video about symmetries, paper snowflakes, and paper dolls, I decided to post a few other paper-related videos.

First is a video showing some cutting tricks for a Möbius strip. I show this to my topology class, then have them play around with Möbius strips—twisting them various numbers of times and cutting down the middle or in thirds. One of my favorite examples is to pass the paper strip through a wedding ring, give it three half-twists and tape together. Cut the loop of paper down the center and the paper will form a knot around the ring. (I wrote about this trick here. It is attributed to Stanley Collins.)

The next video is by Erik Demaine and his collaborators, called Metamorphosis of the Cube. It shows how polygons can be folded into polyhedra and how polyhedra can be unfolded into polygons.

Finally, for fun, how to do origami with the NetFlix envelopes.

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