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Origami Earwig v1.1

Earwig is a ground dwelling insect in the order of dermaptera. They look scary because of a large pincer at the end of their abdomen. However they aren't capable to badly hurt us. I have never seen them in Asia, but they are abundant in North America.


Here is the first version, where you can see the details on this post.

This model is due for an upgrade. Here are the parts I hate:
  1. Elytra is too far behind
  2. Poor and inconsistent shaping on the legs
  3. Pincer is too narrow
The layout of the first version is actually a pretty good 22.5:
Notice that there are non-22.5 creases, most obviously the large triangle in the bottom. These parts don't use Y molecule, but rather rabbit ear molecule. I did that because that part requires sink to make the legs skinny. Using real 22.5 molecule for that part is a bit hard to sink, and also the bird base part will be inverted.
Left: using rabbit ear molecule for the large triangle allows easy sinks
Right: using Y molecule makes it harder to sink, and the half bird base part is now inverted.

Do we really need to sink the legs? It has been 3 years since I made the first version. Now my origami view can be summarized as "reject hyper-realism, embrace geometric". I still want normal people to immediately know that this is origami -- made out of paper, instead of a plastic model. With my current philosophy, the answer is no, we don't have to sink the legs.

Now that the model uses true 22.5 molecules, I play around the shaping for thorax and legs. A realization came that, with the current layout, the legs made from middle flap are shorter than the others. To truly make them as long as the others, we need to stretch the bird base. This is found during folding on actual paper.
The marked area is bird base. Stretching it eliminates the tiny river on the first version.

I altered the layer ordering to get seams wherever I want by doing closed sinks. This fixes the first 2 problems. The result can be seen on the final fold pictures on top of this post.

I was somewhat happy with how the initial pincer looked like. Maybe it is just a matter of shaping to make it look better. However the actual earwig's pincer has a peculiar arrangement of "teeth". They are not spaced far away like the first version. They have teeth closer to the abdomen, and the pincers end with long and smooth curve.
Therefore I reworked the pincer area. Basically it is just a half frog base, with the smaller flap squashed to form 2 little flaps. All that's left is to make them pointy with sink. Looks unorthodox on crease pattern, but straightforward in actual paper.
The bottom right half is a half frog base

All that left is to make test folds... many of them.


I used 30 cm banana (the plant, not the fruit) fiber paper I bought from Blick. This paper is surprisingly great. It is strong and stiff, although not crispy. I wished to use smaller paper, but this 30 cm paper is actually leftover from cutting the whole sheet.

Finished base

Earwig & Origami

Interestingly, earwigs' hind wings are folded tightly under their leathery forewings, compressing the wing area to 1/10 of the original size. They can be deployed elegantly to start flying, and folded back when no longer used. 

Check them out in this video. You can even see the wing's crease pattern on 00:42:


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