Last month we were all about the origami lamps and solar panels now we’re focusing our folding obsession around a company we just saw on Core77 called Industrial Origami. They’ve patented a manufacturing process that cuts down on energy use and wasted materials by perforating sheets of metal — and some types of plastics — and folding them into low cost, super strong structures.

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Up until now, bending sheet metal required extremely expensive and precise machinery, and even a tiny mistake could foul the process. Industrial Origami’s technology cuts the room for error down to the tiniest margin with only two real steps in the bending process — stamp and fold! Plus they cut the number of parts in a structure down to one, from the numerous pieces that were needed before. Need a heating vent? One square sheet of metal will do the trick.

Industrial Origami calls their diagonal perforations “smiles” — the winner of the cutest technical term of the day — and they are the key to the process. They allow materials to be folded while maintaining their strength. The process starts by stamping out designs in the desired material — sheet metal seems to be the most popular. That flat piece of metal is then perforated and with minimal strength bent into its final form.

+ Industrial Origami

Via Core 77