Embedded Arduino Paper Automata Project – Free write

It’s surprisingly difficult to achieve consistency with the paper. Individual pieces would come unglued under pressure or wear out and start falling apart. Each of the books had a various weights of paper that made it more or less difficult. The thicker paper was easier to use on the large portions, but practically impossible to fold accurately for the smaller pieces. With the lighter paper, the small pieces were easy to fold but the large pieces were considerably less stable.

The magic of the project was the coming together of the last couple pieces. For each of the paper toys we made I was blindly trusting the instructions and shocked when things actually started moving. Being able to examine the working gears and levers after the fact was fascinating knowing how each of the individual pieces not only interacted with each other, but the means of their construction from 2 dimensional paper.

I was definitely inspired to start working on more mechanical movements, but extremely frustrated with the fragility of paper. Having made these models is helpful to know some of the routine methods for creating certain behaviors. I almost feel knowing these things now, though, just making detailed sketches and carefully planning everything out would be just as advantageous, and use laser cut or molded plastic pieces so I can trust they will be durable enough to testing by a wider audience.