Making Modular Origami

Modular origami or unit origami is a paperfolding technique which uses two or more sheets of paper to create a larger and more complex model. Each individual sheet of paper is folded into a "module," or "unit,"" and then units are assembled into an 3D shape by inserting flaps into pockets created by the folding process. (See

Origami-inspired design

Origami as a way to think about space

Making a Sonobe Module

On our experience we will make a "Sonobe module" (

Here is a YouTube video that shows how to fold the unit:

Here is a YouTube video that shows how to assemble 12 units:

Modular Origami Instructions

How to make the Sonobe unit (PDF)

How to make a cube from 6 units (PDF)

Some variations with 6, 12, and 30 pieces (PDF)

Some more complicated variations (PDF)

A big book by Tomoko Fuse on mobular origami (PDF)

Please email me photos of any models you try out or ask me questions at