Rigid Origami, or Rigid Folding, has been a fascinating topic for me for quite some time. A couple of years back i worked on a real-life model using the triangular pattern based on Ron Resch … in its folded state it was about 2 x 3 meters big (Adaptive Folding Structure). I spent hours of folding and in the end there wasn’t much time left to investigate other patterns and other scales. So obviously some kind of flexible and interative simulation framework would have been awesome.

Back then there wasnt much available. To be honest, i cant find much specific tools for this topic these days either.

However, recently i was playing around with verlet physics and cloth simulation while working on the Pixelflow library, and so i figured that i had the tools ready to review this old issue.

So this post is a short sumary about the Rigid Origami Simulation using Processing/Pixelflow.

I tested four folding-pattern which are based on Ron Resch’s work. It took some time to get a system working that works for several different pattern. Constraints/springs need special care as well as particle dimensions, collision detection, flipping folds (though still happening) etc…

The results are really pleasing.




This is the pattern i started with in 2009. Comparing the real-life behaviour and the simulation, it is really amazing how similar it is. Of course in the computer simulation there are a lot more parameters that can simulate different materials etc.

Adaptive Folding Structure



It is basically the same as the Triangle pattern. The larger the model (lots of tiles) the more it behaves like the one with triangles. With only a few repeating tiles the handling differs a lot though.


I am not really sure if this one really goes back to Ron Resch, but it kind of fits to the family of the 2 previous one.


I liked this one a lot. The crease pattern is quite simple, but the simulation was quite a surprise. I havent done a real life model of it, but when playing around with it during the simulating i can imagine that it has quite some inner tension that keeps it round-bodied.

Not sure what the actualy name of this model is, so i just named it “Stars” because of its resemblance to David Huffman’s Stars.

I dont have a physical model of it, but i found this image of the original model.