How to Create an Origami Three Intersecting Tetrahedron

Four Parts:Making the Arms of Each TetrahedronCreating the First TetrahedronInterlocking the Second TetrahedronInterlocking the Final Tetrahedron

Origami is the Japanese tradition of folding paper into art. Not only can it be beautiful, but also therapeutic for the mind, body, and soul. For those interested in more advanced designs and making a unique piece of art, the Three-Intersecting Tetrahedron has what you are looking for in spades.



Part 1
Making the Arms of Each Tetrahedron

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    Cut each paper into equal thirds. Start with one strip.
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    Fold in half length-wise. Open fold. Then fold each side in toward the “half” crease length-wise again.
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    Choose an end to start with. Very gently fold the right side in like in the previous step, but only crease about an inch down the length of the paper. Unfold to show that crease.
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    Fold the corner of the left side in until the point touches the crease made in the step above.
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    Unfold the left side for about an inch from the top while pinching below the point where all the creases come together, to hold it in place.
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    Pull the top left corner in along all the angular creases to create an equilateral triangle perpendicular to the rest of the piece of paper.
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    Fold the triangle in half, upwards (using the already made creases) to recreate the point on the left half of the paper.
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    Fold the right corner in half-way. Then fold again, making sure to line up the top point in the center of the paper.
    • Be sure this step is produced two folds on the right side.
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    Repeat this process for the other end of the strip.
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    Fold the paper length-wise down the middle with the back-side up.
    • Be sure that the left sides of both ends have been made into a small grove.
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    Repeat for all of the remaining 17 cut pieces of paper.

Part 2
Creating the First Tetrahedron

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    Attach two strips together at one end. To do this, slide the folded over right edge of one strip, into the hollow opening (made by folding the equilateral triangle previously) in the left end of a separate strip.
    • Do not attach both edges of one side together (as demonstrated in the third picture above). If you'd like, glue the edges together for lasting stability.
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    Repeat with a third strip for that end.
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    Secure the third strip to the first one to create a point with three “legs”, like a tripod.
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    Use the same technique (right edge to left edge) to attach another strip to each leg of the tripod to create the base.

Part 3
Interlocking the Second Tetrahedron

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    Start the second tetrahedron by repeating the process for the first one. However, only fully attach one strip to begin the base.
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    Secure a strip to one leg. Before securing the strip to the next leg of the second tetrahedron, weave the strip through the center of the first tetrahedron and attach.
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    Attach the last strip, again, through the first tetrahedron.
    • At this point, if one of the tetrahedron is help upside down, the model will resemble an hourglass.

Part 4
Interlocking the Final Tetrahedron

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    Place the model with the first tetrahedron base down and pointing up. The second tetrahedron should be “on its side” in the center of the first.
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    Weave the first arm of the final tetrahedron through the middle of the second tetrahedron, but not through the first one.
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    Repeat with a second arm so it mirrors the weaving on the opposite side of the first tetrahedron. Note that the top point of the final tetrahedron is starting to form here.
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    Attach the third arm to the other two. This arm will not intersect any of the other tetrahedron.
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    With the point previously facing you, weave the third arm to create the tripod. This time, weave it straight down through the first tetrahedron only.
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    Weave the remaining two arms through both of the tetrahedrons, and attach.

Things You'll Need

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  • 6 square pieces of paper (2 sheets per color)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue (optional)


Article Info

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