May 13, 2014 12:49 am

“Self-folding paper” created by UBC engineering student

Imagine reading your child a book, ripping out a page from it – and that page suddenly morphing into a monster, a snowflake, a sword.

It sounds like magic, but it’s something a UBC Engineering student is working on with a type of self-folding paper he’s developed.

Ata Sina, a master’s student in mechanical engineering, uses computer design software and a heat shrinking polymer substance to create pieces of paper that transforms when heated.

He says he got the idea watching an orgami paper demonstration.

“I was thinking about how I could…just add something that would make that happen automatically,” he said.

However, Sina hopes his device could eventually be used for more than fun and games. The polymers increase the strength of paper, and believes self-folding paper could be much cheaper and energy efficient than other substances.

“By using paper, we can have some cheap, light, but strong structures. You can replace plastics as a sustainable product.”

- With files from Ted Chernecki

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