We've seen nano-origami and robo-origami, but nothing quite as rapid and simple as this. Researchers at North Carolina State University have figured out how to neatly fold plastic using infrared light and an inkjet printer. Deep black lines are printed onto the plastic sheets, which then absorb the light and cause the material to fold without anyone having to touch it. The wider the line, the greater the angle of each fold, so it's possible to set, say, a 90-degree bend for a cube or 120 degrees for a pyramid. What's more, by giving the lines different patterns, folds can be made to work in specific directions, potentially producing the most perfect, most hygienic bento box that's ever contained your lunch. Click past the break to watch the folding unfold.
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