Automotive

Lexus creates driveable cardboard IS saloon

The Origami Car is made of 1,700 cardboard sheets
The Origami Car is made of 1,700 cardboard sheets
View 17 Images
The Origami Car is made of 1,700 cardboard sheets
1/17
The Origami Car is made of 1,700 cardboard sheets
The cardboard sheets were laser-cut
2/17
The cardboard sheets were laser-cut
The design of the Origami Car was based on a 3D model provided by Lexus
3/17
The design of the Origami Car was based on a 3D model provided by Lexus
The Origami Car sports fully functioning headlights
4/17
The Origami Car sports fully functioning headlights
The cardboard sheets are all 10-mm (0.4-in) thick
5/17
The cardboard sheets are all 10-mm (0.4-in) thick
The designers say that the texture offers a sense of movement
6/17
The designers say that the texture offers a sense of movement
The wheels of the Origami Car are said have required a lot of work to get right
7/17
The wheels of the Origami Car are said have required a lot of work to get right
Despite the high-tech design process, the cardboard sheets were stuck together by hand
8/17
Despite the high-tech design process, the cardboard sheets were stuck together by hand
The seats of the Origami Car are said to have taken a few attempts to get right
9/17
The seats of the Origami Car are said to have taken a few attempts to get right
The instrument panel in the Origami Car is very low-tech
10/17
The instrument panel in the Origami Car is very low-tech
The Origami Car can move forward or backward thanks to an electric motor
11/17
The Origami Car can move forward or backward thanks to an electric motor
The wing-mirrors of the Origami Car aren't very useful
12/17
The wing-mirrors of the Origami Car aren't very useful
The design team divided the 3D model into a number of sections, including main body, the dashboard, the seats and the wheels
13/17
The design team divided the 3D model into a number of sections, including main body, the dashboard, the seats and the wheels
The cardboard sheets were numbered to help with assembly
14/17
The cardboard sheets were numbered to help with assembly
A view from the passenger seat of the Origami Car
15/17
A view from the passenger seat of the Origami Car
The central console of the Origami Car is not as practical as those in Lexus's other cars
16/17
The central console of the Origami Car is not as practical as those in Lexus's other cars
The Origami Car was created to celebrate Lexus’s "takumi craftsmen and women"
17/17
The Origami Car was created to celebrate Lexus’s "takumi craftsmen and women"

We've seen some unusual uses of cardboard before, including for a skateboard deck and for furniture. Lexus has perhaps trumped everything else though, by building a full-size, drivable cardboard car. The Origami Car is a faithful and life-size version of the Lexus IS saloon.

The project is, of course, a bit of a publicity stunt, albeit on the premise of celebrating Lexus’s "takumi craftsmen and women." It is, nonetheless, an impressive achievement, especially given the finished model is actually driveable.

The Origami Car was created in partnership with LaserCut Works and Scales and Models, with a team of five professional designers and modelers. In total, 1,700 cardboard sheets, each 10-mm (0.4-in) thick, were used to make it, having been laser-cut to the correct size.

The model IS was built upon a steel and aluminum frame and is powered by an electric motor to move it forward or backward. Other than that, it has a fully fitted interior, functioning doors, headlights and rolling wheels, all formed from the layered cardboard sheets.

The seats of the Origami Car are said to have taken a few attempts to get right
The seats of the Origami Car are said to have taken a few attempts to get right

The design of the car was based on a 3D model provided by Lexus. The team divided the model into a number of sections, including main body, the dashboard, the seats and the wheels. The cardboard sheets were then cut and numbered to help with assembly. They were then layered together by hand with a water-based glue to make the sections.

"The seats took a few attempts to get just right and the wheels required a lot of refining," explains Scales and Models Company founder and director Ruben Marcos. "Once we could see the physical pieces taking shape, we could identify where we needed to make improvements – as with anything, there were some elements of trial and error, but as we had all the resources we needed in-house, this made the changes easier to produce."

The Origami car took three months to build. The video below provides an overview of the project.

Source: Lexus

Lexus - Making the Origami Inspired Car

2 comments
windykites
Just remember, don't go out in the rain! I hope somebody paid them for this. It is of course, not an origami car, because I would guess there is not one piece of folded cardboard in the whole construction. But that's me just being pedantic. This is actually a good method to make furniture. After making the framework, all you need to do is to cover it with suitable padded material, and voila!A comfortable armchair, settee, or bed.
rgorman
It seems to me that this has no folded paper at all. It is not Origami but rather a utilization of the stacked corrugated cardboard concept introduced for furniture by Frank Gehry in 1980.
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.