A new startup called PaperCranes is creating a paper crane that can fold and lift objects from paper.
They are using a company called Papercranes to design the folding mechanism, the paper, and the crane itself.
“We’ve been building the paper crane in a lab for the past year,” says David Koehler, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University.
The team started out with an idea for folding a paper umbrella and using a machine to pull it down.
The folding mechanism was then modified to be able to pull up a plastic table.
“The table is just a piece of paper and we can attach the whole table to it,” Koehl says.
After a few iterations, they decided to turn their prototype into a fully functional paper crane.
The company has raised $25,000 so far and it will need a $10 million funding round in the next few months to finalize the project.
“This is really our first product,” Koeshler says.
“It is the first paper crane to fold from paper and is the most accurate folding paper crane yet.
It is also one of the smallest paper cranes that we have ever built.”
PaperCrane has already started to make some real-world prototypes of their crane, like this one, which has a “paper floor” that’s attached to a “metal beam.”
The team is also working on prototypes that could fold down from a piece on the floor to a piece underneath.
PaperCrans new prototype has a metal beam attached to it, and it folds down to a metal piece below the floor.
They plan to use a 3D printer to build the prototypes in the future.
It will be interesting to see how PaperCrays crane will perform, Koeshl says, because the paper craning industry is in flux right now.
He believes that companies like PaperCrigs will eventually make the technology better than it is right now because it is now so inexpensive.
“There’s so much demand for these folding devices,” Kuehler says, “and it’s going to get cheaper.”
The company says that the prototype paper crane will be ready to fold in two months.
Papercrane will also be launching their Kickstarter campaign to raise money for its manufacturing costs and to make the crane more attractive to customers.