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From Oxford “origami engineers” Weina Wu and Zhong You, published as A solution for folding rigid tall shopping bags in Proceedings of the Royal Society A. ScienceNOW has an item that at least tries to explain why this achievement is scientifically significant, rather than just really cool. Which, frankly, I don’t quite understand. But then, for our purposes, “really cool” is all the justification we need.

The paper itself, unfortunately, is behind a paywall. But the phrase “made from a number of stainless steel plates, stuck on to a light, flexible plastic sheet,” together with some close examination of the published photos, looks like all an interested party might need to construct their own working model. I’m thinking one could apply an adhesive film to some sheet brass, for instance, and then photoetch the metal off along the creases. [Thanks, Alan Dove!]

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.

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