Sometimes, an innovation comes around that is so simple, it makes you think “why didn’t I think of that?”

I just came across another such example from renowned innovation powerhouse 3M.

They have found a way to use a principle of origami to create sheets of cardboard which fold themselves into packing material when stretched.

Check out this video to find out how it works.

Based on the Japanese art of Kirigami, which is cutting and folding paper in interesting ways, 3M innovator Tom Corrigan has been looking for ways to turn flat sheets of card into 3-dimensional objects by stretching them.

The result is 3M Scotch Cushion-Lock Protective Wrap, which can be used to protect fragile items from breaking when being transported, something often done with plastic bubble wrap at the moment.

When pulled, the unique cuts in the paper cause it to fold outwards, taking up 60x more volume than when flat.

Yet because it is stored as a flat roll of card, it takes up 80% less storage space than the equivalent plastic.

Best of all, it is made from recycled card and is completely recyclable again.

It just goes to show that not every innovation needs to be digital.

Sometimes, something as simple as paper can still find new ways to be used.

Did you know that scientific evidence shows your creativity decreases over time

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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.