A company called Industrial Origami has developed—what else?—a process that makes it easier to fold metal for production purposes. By perforating the metal at specific points, much like how craftsmen score paper to create neater folds, Industrial Origami claims that their procedure cuts down energy consumption. And, more importantly, on production costs.
According to the company, manipulating sheet metal to spec traditionally required expensive machinery and precise methods. Get something wrong on even a very tiny scale, and you basically waste the time and resources committed to the fabrication. The use of complicated automatons also means significant energy usage.
Industrial Origami's technology simplifies everything: it's just a matter of stamping the perforations on to define the folds, and using straightforward machinery to execute the folds. The side effects of this abridged procedure? Less energy is required to get the job done, and everything can be built from one piece of sheet metal.
Now for the real question: can Industrial Origami's folding metal process be applied to consumer electronics and all those other forms of tech we love? What if it was possible to create the shell of future smartphones, laptops, and the like on the cheap?