I think there’s something amazing about watching a two-dimensional (2-D) sheet of plastic fold itself up into a three-dimensional (3-D) object. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Science apparently agree, having selected a video (see above) about this self-folding materials research as a finalist in the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge (SciVis).
Why would researchers want to make a video about their work? “We wanted to show people how we’re making 3-D objects from 2-D sheets, and explain how it could have practical applications,” says Jan Genzer, a chemical engineering professor at NC State who is leading a multi-university research team exploring the subject.
“I also believe the video format is a fantastic way to disseminate research results and publicize the outstanding work being done by our students,” says Michael Dickey, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at NC State who submitted the video to SciVis.
The researchers found out Nov. 1 that their entry was one of ten video finalists, which a panel of judges will review to select an eventual winner. But there’s also a “People’s Choice” award, which goes to the video that receives the most public votes. So check out the video (above), and then go vote for “Self-Folding Origami” – the voting ends Nov. 12.