Wall and Torsion Folds
By Gacharná Ramírez, Gerardo
© August 11, 2015
The following are two very common folds in origami designs based on volume rather than tips–such as different 3D containers. I propose a name for each one and I explain them as well.
This is a half-folded common box. The lifted walls are of the same height.
There are two wall folds shown here in this half-folded masu box. In this step, the back wall is taller than the left and right ones.
You can see the tip resulting from the wall fold in the corner of this half-folded Pyramidal Box. The lifted walls are slanted.
There are two wall folds shown in this half-folded Eight-sided Box.¹ One of the tips is in front of the other. The lifted walls are not perpendicular.
In this example, the resulting fold is flat.
From the diagrams for "Desk Tidy" by Rikki Donachie, in Origami You can Use: 27 Practical Projects, edited by Rick Beech, pg. 69.
In this other example, the resulting fold is 3D.
From the diagrams for "Triple Spiral Cube" in Genuine Japanese Origami (Book 2) by Jun Maekawa, pg. 70
There is one torsion fold shown in this half-folded Spring into Action, which is a model created by Jeff Beynon. It is missing the torsion folds that go on top of that one.
¹ In 2022, I discovered it was not really my original design. Tomoko Fuse had created basically the same model, Traditional Japanese Tea Caddy (Natsume); its diagrams were published, in 2002, in her Japanese book Iremono Iro Iro. So, the book came out eight years before I made my box and who knows how long before that she actually designed the model.
² In 2023, I found the entry on "twist folding" in the book Complete Origami, by Eric Kenneway (1987). The entry is about the type of folds I name in this article "torsion folds". Here's a quote from the entry: "A few traditional models are constructed by laying a number of crease lines into a square of paper and then collapsing it with a twist to raise the from. Japanese chemistry teacher Shuzo Fujimoto has developed this technique into an original and individual style he calls nejiri-ori: twist folding." (pg. 178) The problem with calling it "twist folding" is that it can easily get confused with twist folds, like the ones used to fold the roses by Toshikazu Kawasaki. Both types of folds are quite different, and thus, deserve having different names.