Released in December of 2012, Foldify is an app that is quickly making the art of papercraft even more exciting. Using a mixture of finger painting tools, photos, and pre-build patters, Foldify allows you to create 3-D designs on your iPad that you can then print out and fold up into real 3-D figures.
Foldify offers 16 templates for different types of figures. With Foldify you can print your figures directly from the application via AirPrint or send it as a PDF over email. Any action you take in the app is instantly previewed in 3-D without delays or extra steps. Zoom in, rotate, draw on the templates, or add photos from your camera or library. Use stamps provided by the app like eyes, mustaches, mouths and more to enhance your design. The app also allows you to upload your creations to the Foldify serve and browse other user’s designs and print them as well. You can also share your figures through Facebook and Twitter with the rest of your friends!
A friend of mine clued me into this app a couple of months ago. I had been using a specific papercraft app for a while for Minecraft which was fun but really didn’t allow you to do much creation on your own so when I heard about Foldify I was really excited. I tested out this app during a Teen Crafternoon program and was very happy with the results. It became everything that I envision crafternoons to be in the future. It combines a digital medium that allows even the least artistic teen to create something amazing while at the same time, creating something tangible and physical by printing and folding the creations.
The teens loved it. They especially loved the in-app camera feature that allowed them to take pictures of themselves or things around the library and include them in their design. They were able to capture images from the web, save them to the camera library on the iPad and use them in their templates as well, which really excited one teen that is obsessed with One Direction. She made a tiny figurine of each of the band members for her craft.
Some designs are simple like this cube that the teens used to make a box with a picture of each of the members of our group.
Others were more complicated which impressed me as a great way to integrate spatial cognition into the program. I think it is hard a lot of the time to envision what something will look like in the physical world when you see it initially in a digital format. Being able to print our designs really brought the figures to life. One teen wanted to create a soccer ball but when we printed the design we all found that cutting out and folding up a 3-D ball was a lot more complicated than we thought it would be. As a group we worked to figure out the logic of folding and putting together the sphere successfully.
More hilarity ensued when the teens discovered pictures of staff members on the iPads and were able to create goofy figurines of us all.
The possibilities for using this app seem endless! Check out this awesome video a teen made of a stop-action film about Steve Jobs!
I love that they have incorporated the social media aspect as well as a library of designs by other users you can browse. These aspects add a sense of community to the app and are great for inspiration.
Use this app for crafternoons, book clubs, or really any other program. The possibilities are endless and your teens will have a blast no matter what.