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The best software to draw a crease pattern

Posted: August 22nd, 2005, 10:23 pm
by T
I was just wondering what's the best software / way to make a computer drawn crease pattern. For making diagrams I use serif draw plus yet I have no idea how I would be able to draw anything with specific angles like a crease pattern. Is there a better piece of software or method to use? What do the [i]proffesionals[/i] use/do?


Posted: August 23rd, 2005, 12:31 am
by origami_8
In vector orientated graphic-programs like AutoCad or Micrografx Designer, you can specify the exact coordinates of every line drawn and also the angle of the same.

Posted: August 23rd, 2005, 12:38 am
by origamimasterjared
Everyone I know of uses Macromedia Freehand. It's kind of expensive though.

Features such as constrain angle, snap to point, and snap to object are very useful for drawing crease patterns.

Posted: August 23rd, 2005, 3:43 am
by Joseph Wu
origamimasterjared wrote:Everyone I know of uses Macromedia Freehand. It's kind of expensive though.
Yes, that's pretty much the most popular diagramming software for origami designers. You can sometimes find old versions for sale very cheap ($5).

Posted: August 23rd, 2005, 8:46 am
by T
Ah well I was hoping there was some mystery program i didnt know of.

The reason I ask is that I ve just finished designing and diagramming a model of a insect and i thought it might be good to include the crease pattern in the diagrams.

Just another crease pattern related question.

Most ppl's defenition of a crease pattern is the creases left on the paper once the model is completely unfolded. Yet, I dont understand whether this includes creases which have been made (or used in the folding process) but were not being folded on in the final product. So is there a trick to knowing which creases are for the final product and which were just used to help the model build up.

The only method ive been able to pull of reasonably succesfully is getting a pencil and runing it along all the edges of the model on the inside then out then trying to work out where al the creases being used are and sharpen the lines I drew.

Thanks very much for quick replies.

Posted: August 23rd, 2005, 9:29 am
by TheRealChris
I have forwarded parts of your entry to the right thread:

Crease Pattern Thread



Posted: August 24th, 2005, 7:04 pm
by TheRealChris
I lately discovered a free program, called "Inkscape". it's a vector oriented drawing program. maybe it's not the best around, but it's free :)
Inkscape download-mirrors

I have redrawn komatsu's frog cp from that page:
Komatsu's Frog

into this:
Komatsu's Frog, redrawn

you should really check it out. it's probably a nice chance to make your CPs :)


Posted: August 25th, 2005, 12:38 am
by Brimstone
There are two free vector oriented softwares that can be downloaded from, they are:
CadStd and VectorEngineer

Posted: August 25th, 2005, 1:09 am
by wolf
I'll put in a recommendation for CadStd. The learning curve is a bit steep if you haven't used a CAD program before, but once you've gotten a feel for the basics, it's very easy to draw CPs with the program. Unlike AutoCAD, CadStd is not bogged down by dozens of tools, plus the demo version is free. :)

It's also a great tool for doing CP design.

Posted: August 25th, 2005, 1:41 am
by origamimasterjared
And for the Freehand-less Mac users...


Not bad. It's a free trial, and the program costs $20 for nine months.

It has snap-to features, and naturally constrains angles of 15 degrees (0,15,30,45...) and mountain (one-dot) and valley stroke dash styles.

It has many features, too many, and seems a bit harder to use than Freehand. But it does make it quite easy for you to access whatever functions you need by putting them in a menubar. (Stroke width, color, arrows, dash, text, fill color, and more each have their own buttons)

It is a little overkill though, in giving square its own button, separate buttons for square, rectangle, circle, and oval. Also there is no easy way (that I can find) to constrain angles to 22.5 degrees.

Posted: August 25th, 2005, 5:26 am
by bshuval
Umm... You can also download a 30-day trial for Freehand...

Posted: August 26th, 2005, 12:00 am
by wolf
T wrote:So is there a trick to knowing which creases are for the final product and which were just used to help the model build up.
For models with uniaxial bases, yes, there is a way of knowing where the major creases in the final product are - draw out the circle packing, and then you'll know where the axial and hinge creases are. These two types of creases are the ones which form the structure of the base.

A series of crease patterns would probably illustrate the model better than a single one - the first just showing the packing, the second showing the major creases and filled polygons, and the final one showing the details.

Posted: August 26th, 2005, 11:25 am
by T
That's another thing Im having trouble with what's the best way to draw on circle and river packing? I think I know where to put thde circles but the rivers confuse me more. Ive read origami desaign secrets which gave me most of hte knowledge I know about circle and river packing


I use Adobe Illustrator CS

Posted: November 30th, 2005, 5:07 pm
by EricGjerde
Once I got up to speed on it, I have found that I particularly enjoy using Illustrator for doing CP and related things. Mind you, I'm pretty much a geometric-tessellation-etc kind of guy, so it's not like I'm trying to illustrate collapsing a wet-folded curve or something.

however, I find Illustrator's "Smart Guides" to be amazingly useful- I can set angles, and lines will just snap to those angles when I draw them; they automatically snap to other lines, etc, so drawing a grid or complex CP for a tessellation becomes extremely easy to do (once, of course, you unfold your work and figure out where all the creases actually are!)

there's also a very nice tool in development called ORIPA - it's only in japanese, and runs as a java applet (it's a packed .jar file). it's very rough around the edges, and requires some fiddling to get working- and, of course, it's only in japanese- but it's quite easy to use. once you lay out a crease pattern, you can hit a button and it will fold it and show you how that would look as a fold. it's impressive and it looks like things are really developing well on the project. I haven't done a writeup on it yet, but I'm planning to once I play some more and take some better screen shots.

you can download the ORIPA program from here.

it requires the Java JRE 1.5.0 (linked there) and potentially also the Java3D thing (also linked there). once you have those, you can just right-click on the .jar file and "save as". then you can just doubleclick on it and it will run.

there's also a Wiki there with many existing examples (the traditional crane, various bases, etc) which you can download and try.

the program has it's own format, but exports to .dxf (a standard CAD/CAM format) which can be opened in things like illustrator, CorelDraw, and others.

that's my 2 cents! I'm cross-posting this to the CP thread as well, just to be obnoxious.

big thanks to Komatsu Hideo, for linking to this program on his blog, "fold/unfold". he has some great examples of what he's been doing with it, and I'm really glad he turned me on to this neat program.

Posted: November 30th, 2005, 7:57 pm
by Aurèle
On linux, I use Qcad Community edition to draw CP, and Inkscape to diagram my foldings sequences.
Inkscape is a bad choici -i think- for CP, beacause it doesn't accept geometric composition as edge bissection, trissection etc. and other useful tricks that is offered by an CAD solftware.

Both softwares are ported to windows