Cube from business cards

While my instructions may sound slightly complicated, it is an incredibly simple fold too. All you need are ~66,000 business cards folded by my instructions and you too can make your very own level 3 menger sponge:) Or you could use 300 cards and make a 3-dimensional 3x3x3 puzzle, which is what I suggested. I already have 3 of those puzzles (1 of which was made out of special custom made mini-business cards) at home, it only takes an hour or two in front of a TV to make (no attention required, only two basic mountain folds per card).

The nice thing about this project is that if you ask around, you can usually find a company which has some old business cards they don't want. Or a Kinko's store can probably make 300 blank ones for less than $15, assuming they have a template already made.

Go to the contents table

1. Step 1: Folding the cubes

See picture for instructions. Please read all directions before creating this puzzle, and I suggest making one paneled (see steps 1, 2, and 4) cube first. Another simpler set of instructions can be found at http://world.std.com/~j9/sponge/cubes.html, but it was not written by me.

Go to the contents table

2. Step 2: Creating the cubes

Use 6 cards, one for each side. Place them such that there is one card per side. Fold the flaps of each card such that every side of the cube has two flaps on the OUTSIDE of the cube. Be careful not to unfold the creases too much while doing this or your cube will not be stable, though panelling usually strengthens it. If done correctly, it will be very stable and will be a near perfect cube (having the flaps slightly unequal has little effect on the design, but the flaps must be parallel with the height of the business card.

Go to the contents table

3. Step 3: Combining Cubes

Combining cubes is simple. This is the main advantage of using this folding technique over others (also, business cards are cheaper than origami paper and many businesses have extras that they do not need). Simply slip the flaps of the unconstructed pieces under the outside flaps of a cube. In some cases you will need to slip the flaps under two or even three created cubes. Then create as normal (step 1). You will still need 6 cards per cube even when combining cubes. It is also possible to tuck the flaps from two cubes into one another, but this method of cube combination is less effective and a little more challenging.

Go to the contents table

4. Step 4: Panels

To create panels, use the regular pieces from step one. Simple tuck each flap under the flap of a completed cube. Each side will require one panel. This strengthens the cube and makes it look nicer. Combined cubes will not require cubes on concealed faces, do not panel your cubes until you have finished combining them.

Go to the contents table

5. Step 5: Puzzle

You can create structures of cubes, and even 3-dimensional puzzles (I suggest a 3x3x3 puzzle composed of 6 4 cube pieces and 1 3 cube piece). This puzzle requires approximately 300 business cards.

Suggested design:


   1.  0  2.  0   3.  00  4.  0  5.  0  6.  0*  7.  *0
       0      00      00     00      0      0       0
       00     0              0       0
Key:

   0-------1 cube
   *-------2 cubes.
In my puzzle, the second cube is ABOVE the 1st cube. Piece 6 will come out backwards otherwise, though the solutions to the puzzle will not actually change.

Solution: If you follow my design, YOU solve it. If you can't, make your own design.
Have a look at my solution.

Go to the contents table

6. Drawing on the cubes

Since this puzzle is made out of business cards, you can draw on each panel, or even use preprinted cards which already contain drawing centered on the business card.

Go to the contents table

7. E-mail me

Please e-mail me questions, comments, and complaints at mailto:vze25yrg@verizon.net. Also check out my website, which is unrelated to origami, at http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze25yrg.

Go to the contents table

8. Epilogue

These instructions were created by Brian AKA Aguydude, Aguy, Aguytono, George. However, the design was not. If you use them for commercial purposes, I really don't care:) However, I only own these instructions, not the design. Dr. Jeannine Mosely, the organizer of the menger sponge project http://world.std.com/~j9/sponge/, is the person who taught me this folding technique. I suggest checking out the project, it involves a collective effort to create a level 3 fractal using 66048 business cards. I'm sure Dr. Jeannine Mosely would love your help.

Go to the contents table

Contents table