With its new creation known as “Origami”, Lexus designers have taken car making talent to a new level, resulting in creation of a drivable car all made from cardboard, reports MATILDA FRANCES
It is a car. FOR It can be driven. But it can not be taken to car wash. For it is made with cardboards. It is Lexus’ own dazzler at this year’s Grand Design Live Show, which holds from 8th to 11th October. As the show ends today, one memory that would linger on is of a Lexus Crafted in precision-cut card.
Said to have been inspired by “Origami”, the cardboard-made Lexus explores the design of the Lexus IS in forensic detail, and that’s not all. Having an electric motor mounted on its steel and aluminum frame, it is drivable.
Like the contour lines of a map, the car’s every detail has been computer scanned and divided into segments, which are then translated into reality via laser-cut sheet cardboard.
Each sheet has been painstakingly fixed together, while a robust subframe supports an electric motor to provide locomotion.
The project was handled by LaserCut WORKS and Scales and Models, two London-based specialist companies with extensive experience in the design and creation of prototypes, architectural models and bespoke commissions.
Scales and Models company founder and director Ruben Marcos explained: “This was a very demanding job, with five people involved in the digital design, modeling, laser cutting and assembly. Just like Lexus, we were committed to producing the best possible quality.”
The creative process presented the team with a series of tough challenges: “The seats took a few attempts to get just right and the wheels required a lot of refining. 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.”
Lexus provided the team with a digital 3D model of the IS, which was then divided into a series of principal parts, such as the main body, dashboard, seats and wheels. These were then digitally rendered in 10mm “slices” to provide the two-dimensional profiles needed for the laser cutting of each of 1,700 sheets of 10mm-thick cardboard.
Each layer was given its own reference number to help ensure it was assembled in the right sequence and the entire assembly was done by hand. A water-based wood glue was used, which had to be left to set for 10 minutes after each application. Accuracy was vital, as changes couldn’t be made once the glue had dried. In all, the Origami Car took three months to build.
Members of the public were opportune to view the Lexus Origami Car as a star attraction at the Grand Designs Live show held at the NEC in Birmingham, from 8-11 October.