Picture of 3d 4-Dimensional Tesseract Hypercube Model B TJT4/6
dia tesseract.jpg
This instructable explains how to produce a 3d model of a 4d cube. It can also be described as a 3d shadow of a 4d model. It is the second of two 3d models of 4d objects I'm uploading. It is Time-Journey Tool 4 of 6.

If you do not wish to create your own model in 3d-modeling software, you can take the easy way out and just download my model for free at:


If you wish to 3d-model your own 4d hypercube, I can offer instructions for Rhino. If you want to try some 3d-modeling software for free, either get Rhino's evaluation copy at:

...or some excellent, Free 3d-modeling software at:

Recommended Materials and Processes:

 Computer with internet access
 3d modeling software (or download my design for free)
 access to 3d printer (I use Shapeways.com)

We experience our lives in 3 dimensions. Einstein showed we live in 3 spatial dimensions with a 4th dimension of time. This is the spacetime continuum. The 4th dimension upon which this instructable instructs is the spatial 4th dimension.

Dana Carvey as "the Church Lady" used to ask something like, "isn't that spatial?" Indeed it is.

Were we stick figures living out our lives, strolling around on a sheet-of-paper Universe, it would be maddeningly confusing for someone to elucidate the "3rd dimension" to us when our entire culture has been defined by "up" & "down", "left" & "right".

Nonetheless, we can do it. Should we wish to transcend the limitations of these measly 3 dimensions we must consider that which we have not previously experienced, back on the sheet-of-paper Universe.

In 1827 Möbius, a mathematician, theoretical astronomer, and "stripper" realized a 4th dimension would allow a three-dimensional form to be rotated onto its mirror-image.
any ever tried to make a 3 dimensional shadow of a 4 dimensional shadow of a 5d cube?
MetaRidley23 years ago
Wait... Isn't it impossible to create a hypercube in the 3rd dimension? Anyways, Nice Instructable!
TimeJourneyTools (author)  MetaRidley23 years ago
Hey Meta, yes it is impossible. But that's what's so cool, it is not impossible to have a shadow of a 4-dimensional object in 3-dimensional space. Here how it works:

a 3-dimensional object (a cube) can cast a 2-dimensional shadow (a square)

a 2-dimensional object (a square) can cast a 1-dimensional shadow (a line)

a 1-dimensional object (a line) can cast a 0-dimensional shadow (a point)
Chimex143 years ago
First of all, this is freaking awesome.
Second, I really really really want to make this, but i dont have a 3-d printer. So i am planning to just assemble it out of something (probably wood) so i need a definite shape. So correct me it i am wrong, but the basic structure is just two cubes that are linked together from one corner, with lines connecting their vertices, right?

Once built, take it outside on a sunny day (you guys all still do that, right? Go outside when the sun's out?). The shadows this thing casts are also amazing!!
Lol yes we go outside. Thanks for the advice, i probably never would have thought about looking at the shadows
The shadows of the hypercube that's "Shifted up and off to the side" are much better then the cube-in-a-cube version (they're actually pretty boring for that one)

It's the collimated aspect of the light that does it. You could also use laser light, though you'd need something to spread it out. The advantage there, of course, is that it's LASER LIGHT:

So... instead of having them linked, I should try doing it up and off to the side. So now there is going to be a little square where the Bottom left of one cube, and the upper right of another cube meet, right? Imma try both. Gonna buy a bunch a sqaure dowels or a bunch of pencils or something. Thanks for your suggestion.

Also you link did not work. Instructables said page not found. I also could not find the thing in a search.
TimeJourneyTools (author)  Chimex143 years ago
Yes, but you can just have shapeways.com print it for you. I just went there and made it order-able:


but sure, you could make your own.

Did you post the lateral offset one there? It's so much better than the "cube-in-a-cube" version!
TimeJourneyTools (author)  boothby1713 years ago
this one is a lot more interesting looking, but I guess they are both accepted interpretation/3d shadows of 4d cubes. I made them both to be comprehensive.
Great tutorial.

In my opinion Shapeways quality is terrible thou they are cheaper then others so my money goes elsewhere.

There are high quality 3d printing services such as http://ponoko.com for USA and http://i.materialise.com for Europe

TimeJourneyTools (author)  dizingof3 years ago
this is interesting about their quality. They are the only place from which I've ever gotten 3d prints.
lordduckx3 years ago
Is there somewhere else you could put your model? I was unable to download it
TimeJourneyTools (author)  lordduckx3 years ago
These are pretty small files. I can email them to you. You can email me at robert(AatT]robertmihaly{dawt]com
Thanks! I sent you an email
john iom3 years ago
This looks like a really cool object which I would like to try and print on my RepRap.

I tried the link


but sadly I get the message "You do not have permission to perform that action."

Is there any other way I can have access to the STL file ?
TimeJourneyTools (author)  john iom3 years ago
hi John,

I am happy to email both files to you. They are very small. email me at robert(aht}]robertmihaly({[dawt]})com
I love tesseracts! this is way cool... thx :)
sitearm3 years ago
@TimeJourneyTools; Hi! 50 Gold Stars for spreading awareness of 4D! I mean, 3D has been around forEVer *coff*

Another 50 stars for modeling the hypercube "shadow" in 3D reality. I did one in 3DWeb and took pics of it at the link below. I suppose I could make a video of it rotating but *sigh* you've got that covered too and even so it would still be 4D in 3D in 2D.

Seriously; Good on you!

Cheers! : )

TimeJourneyTools (author)  sitearm3 years ago
As if the 4d wasn't cool enough, and the observation of 4D in 3D in 2D (unless the 2d is a sort-of 3d [2 spatial dimensions + time dimension])... then you needed to throw in the Organic Rapeseed Oil on Ginger Chicken Recipe...

mmmm. I think I'm starting to get too much blood in my caffeine system, since as hungry as you're making me I'm still getting a little tired... I might conk out for sleep deprivation tonight, but I need to look into that ginger chicken action tomorrow
billhorvath3 years ago
I'd do this, but I don't want to fall into a rip in the space-time continuum.

(Actually, I'm waiting for my 3D printer to arrive. Then I'll make it.)
TimeJourneyTools (author)  billhorvath3 years ago
must be nice.
boothby1713 years ago
Very cool! Beats the one I made out of balsa-wood stringers back in...about 1976!