Triceratops Invades CSAIL

A warning to all those who dare to venture into the Stata Center this week: There is a dinosaur on the loose. Thanks to OrigaMIT, a life-size origami Triceratops skeleton is now on display in front of the Gates Tower elevators. The Triceratops will be on display throughout the week of December 13.

Standing about five-feet high, 11-feet long and four-feet wide, the Triceratops took club members a month to create using 19, five-feet squares of heavy-weight paper. Based upon a design by Master Issei Yoshino, the plans allow for a finished product big enough to display in public, while also allowing paper folders to use separate sheets of paper instead of one giant sheet.

“We wanted to make some sort of large display to help advertise the club so that MIT could see what the origami club is doing,” said Jason Ku, president and historian of OrigaMIT. “We had never made a really large piece of origami- it’s not something that origami artists normally do. They’re usually folding manageable pieces of paper that can normally only be folded by one person at a time. This was a new experience and a lot of fun.”

The Stata Center was a natural choice to house the Triceratops, due to the building’s large open spaces, heavy traffic and the nature of the work conducted within. Paper folding has many scientific applications, from robotics to engineering and mathematics.

Under the direction of faculty advisor and CSAIL Principal Investigator Erik Demaine, OrigaMIT seeks to promote, practice and teach the art of paper folding. Ku, a graduate student in MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department, is currently working alongside Demaine on several folding processes.

According to Ku, the club hopes to tackle another large-scale project next year, and is even floating the idea of tackling Yoshino’s design for a T-Rex.

“This one was a little difficult to make out of paper as it doesn’t have the strength to support its own weight,” said Ku. “If we do a large model again we will try to design a model so that the paper has a design structure that would be able to hold its weight or build from stronger material.”

Learn more on OrigaMIT, here.

Abby Abazorius, CSAIL