My first thought was origami... tabs folding out... but then my brain quit at it... I'm lousy at these... I see a pattern... slightly... and a very vague idea about it... but can't follow through... sorry... maybe the idea will trigger something for someone else.
[spoiler= I agree with Judi's answers]the images are created by unfolding/folding the structure and the viewpoint changing (or rotations of the structures if you want to see it that way) between steps 2 and 3. Arrows indicate direction of viewpoint.