Hundreds of years ago, a marvel of modern engineering was born: origami, flat sheets of paper folded into lifelike forms. Today, mechanical engineers build on origami principles to make prototype machines that collapse, flex, or unfurl. With origami underpinning their core, spacecraft will harbor compact solar panels that expand dramatically after launch, and micro-scale instruments will unfold inside the body to perform delicate, minimally invasive surgery. A mechanical engineering lab at Brigham Young University, led by Larry Howell and Spencer Magleby, has been using origami as design inspiration for the better part of a decade. They created this video to trace the art form’s modern resurgence and share its wide application in engineering today.