It's Science! In the Fold

My friend Sarah Baker first turned me onto paper tessellations.  Turns our folds can give more than just a little rigidity!  This once flat disc becomes a real barrier.

From NewScientist: The shield [developed by Bin Liu Lab]  is a paper doughnut with a hole in the centre, and has been scored with an exact pattern of perforation lines by a laser. The pattern consists of smaller and smaller concentric circles, with each circular strip further divided into triangles. The triangles in adjacent strips lean in opposite directions, creating a network of zigzags from the rim to the centre.

Apply pressure to the edge of the shield and it begins to fold up along these zigzags. But because the folds' sizes shrink incrementally, the hole in the centre never changes size, protecting anything inside.

Here is my suggested soundtrack.

Image: Bin Liu Lab

Image: Bin Liu Lab