Origami and Puzzles share a number of similarities, including attracting the interest of some of the same practitioners. Both can appear simple on the surface, but often contain interesting inner workings. They often exploit mathematical relationships so things fit together well. Some puzzles work very well as origami models and the pieces diagrammed here showcase that marriage. All of these works are based on existing puzzle designs, most of which are traditional dissection style challenges. Providing the opportunity to fold your own pieces makes the geometric relationships of the pieces more apparent, but not necessarily easier to solve. Every effort was made to have the pieces for these puzzles begin with the same sized square.
Two of the puzzles are relatively modern, and thanks must be given to Daniel Scher for introducing these designs to me. Edi Nagata’s ArrowCase puzzle contains four pieces that must fit neatly within the confines of a square. The origami version is named Four Arrows Puzzle, and is still tricky even with the dimensions of the pieces made more apparent through the folding.
The Symmetrical Puzzle is based on Vesa Timonen’s award-winning Symmetrick. It would be a challenge to find a tougher two-piece puzzle, with a satisfying solution at that. The origami version makes the solving easier, but only by a little.
Thanks again to Edi Nagata and Vesa Timonen for allowing their work to be showcased as origami pieces.
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