I'm sure we've all seen those small wooden 3D dinosaur models. I had a few that I loved as a kid, but they all shared a common flaw. They were much too small!! As a father I set about to rectify that problem for my son. In the following steps I'll provide all the information you'll need to make your very own 6 foot tall T-Rex model!

(Please vote for me in the DADCANDO contest!!)

Step 1: Tools & Materials


2) 4'x8' sheets of Oak Plywood (*see notes below)
Templates printed on 24"x36" sheets (from attached PDF on Step 2)
Wood Stain & Finish (optional but recommended)
Felt with adhesive backing


Jigsaw blades - 12tpi (teeth per inch) skinny blades
Drill with 1/4" bit
Sander w/ various grits
Router w/ 1/4" roundover bit

*NOTE: My T-Rex was sized and built using 1/2" thick plywood. Upon completion I realized that the legs, tail, and spine are a bit too flimsy. I'm going to recut just these pieces using 3/4" plywood. I would recommend using 3/4" thick for this project if you only want to buy two sheets of plywood, but keep in mind there is a weight advantage by using 1/2" for all the other pieces. I went with oak because it has a nicer grain and accepts stain better than pine. If you choose to go with pine, you'll need to use wood conditioner before applying any stain.
<p>I used a program I found on t'Internet to split each page of the pdf, then printed on A3 and taped the 2 halves back together. This resulted in a model about 120cm high.</p><p>I used 18mm for the spine, tail, legs, pelvis and tongue parts, 12mm for the rest and it's very solid, except that the legs seem a bit loosely attached. I'm thinking of replacing part 8 with a pice cut from a larger block of wood, since it's the part that holds the whole thing together. It used slightly less then half of eact 1.2x2.4m sheet.</p><p>This was made for my son's 8th birthday party. We were going to bury it in the sand pit but the tail end of Hurricane Kate made the day far too wet for that, so we hid the pieces around the house and he the kids hunt for them. Cue half an hour of excited screams of &quot;I found one!&quot;, then they had the fun of putting it together. Great fun, thanks for the inspiration and the plans.</p><p>His older brother is now jealous: &quot;you never made me anything like that&quot;!</p>
I love the &quot;archaeology hunt&quot; idea! So awesome.<br>Great job!!<br><br>How old is the older brother? Perhaps try making the petrydon (Sp?) one with him, only use higher quality wood, take the time to sand/stain it properly? Could be a great project for an older kid! (Hell, I'm a grown adult and would still hang it in my room!)
<p>He's 12, but not really into making anything, more into books and TV. It might be worth a try though, thanks</p><p>.</p>
<p>Regarding routing the edges: I made the 18mm pieces first, and routed them clamped in my B&amp;D workmate. This required 4 clampings per piece and was quite tedious. For the 12mm, I couldn't do this because the router bit would heve struck the workmate deck, so I clamped the router level with the deck and did each peice hand-held. I think this is actually safer, because the router is safely fixed in place and I only had to concentrate on the dangerous bit being in one place. I didn't have to find somwhere safe to put the router between cuts while I reclmped and it was much faster. This is what a router table is really.</p>
Trying to remember if it was on this project or one of my arcade cabinets, but I also did the upside down router thing. (Ghetto-wannabe-router-table) Dangerous, yes, but so much more efficient and produced better results.<br>
<p>I think if you do it properly, it's safer than using a router hand-held. You have both hands on the workpiece and there's no chance of dropping a running router on you toe.</p><p>I found several examples of using a workmate as a router table, or making a table that fixes into it. For example: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/router_table-mate</p>
<p>Sorry if I missed them, but how do you download the CNC files?</p>
<p>has anyone thought of using this for a costume? Switch the Plywood out for craft foam?</p>
<p>Anyone know if this is under public domain? Iv got someone who wants me to build a few and wanted to check if thats infringing on any patents</p>
I made mine 5 years ago, survived 4 winters in Canada, and finally broke his leg this spring,
Thanks for the plans! My daughter wants to be a Paleontologist when she grows up so we decided to throw her a Dino Dig Party for her 8th birthday. We used a smaller paper size since Staples was charging about $50 for the larger paper. It came out to about 3 1/3-4 feet tall and still looks awesome! Attempting the Pteradon next!
<p>Thanks for the plans! I made this one out of 3/4&quot; plywood and tripled the thickness for the legs. It has been in my front yard in San Jose since October2014 and I hope to bring it to Burning Man this year. I'm also thinking about putting a self balancing electric unicycle under each leg and try to ride it around.</p>
Thanks for the plans! <br><br>Can you clarify for me which pieces you would do out of 3/4? Just 1,2, and 7 or would you also do 10?
Now that I think more I am thinking you are calling 7 the tail and 10 the spine right?
<p>I was looking for a pteridactyl (dinosaur with big wings) and I was going to do the same with that, about a month ago I made this on my dads cnc machine which cuts it out for you. My one is nine foot high and needs extra support either by ropes in a tree or two legs stuck together. If anyone else is thinking about buying one, my one is defiantly more expensive at over &pound;100 for only the sheets off wood...</p>
<p>This is awesome!! We need one for an upcoming museum theme party for a school fundraiser . . . would you consider selling us a &quot;kit&quot; comprised of all the pieces cut out? We have some dads who could put it together, but they're not so comfortable with the saw!!</p>
Thanks!<br>I would love to, but it's outside of my ability. The cost of shipping would be astronomical as well. What you might look into is finding a company that does laser cutting or CNC cutting and have them cut the pieces from the CAD files I provided. Shipping will still be expensive, but it would be cleaner cuts with much less labor time. (You can imagine how long it took me to cut all the pieces using just a jig saw)<br>
We are in the middle of making 2 full size and one half-size t-Rex dinosaurs for the entry way to our wedding! Staples printed the plans out. It cost about $50 on 24x36&quot; engineering paper. I printed the small one on 12x18&quot;. So excited! Will post final product.
<p>muy bueno amigo</p>
How did you manage to print the template on the large paper?
I work for a drafting company so I just used our plotter. If you don't have access to one you can usually find a printing store or Office Supply store (Like Staples or Office Max) to print it for you.
That's great, thanks! great instructable btw!
<p>Here is a downloadable program to do the multi page printing thing.</p><p>http://arje.net/rasterbator</p>
Try this - http://woodgears.ca/bigprint/ It allows you to print large pictures as a mosaic of smaller pages. Also have a look at the rest of the site, it's a great wood working resource and Matthias has a great style for presenting his videos.
<p>Thank you very much! </p><p>Those 24x36 pteradon templates are so nice and easy!!... is there a way to adapt the Trex model to fit two sheets like the pteradon templates? Also any chance more templates of different dinos could be included in the future, only because I saw that this guy picked up a bunch of models from a craft store and the forms are there (http://www.instructables.com/id/Cardboard-Dinosaur..., if only a nice someone would transcribe them into 24x36 pdf templates!</p><p>Thanks again!! </p>
Just love this guy and thank you so much for doing this for us. It was so easy a cave woman could do it. Looking to make more and so excited. I would love more patterns if they come avaiable. Fossilbabe
Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks for this instructable. I built a T-Rex using my XY table for my son's ninth birthday party. I buried all the bits and had the kids dig it up as archaeologists and assemble it. The kids had so much fun they did not want to go home again. <br> <br>Once again thank you for your effort.
That sounds awesome! Can you post any pics from it?
Quite dangerous to flip your router upside down ? You bet. I cut away a big hunk of a finger doing that about 17 years ago. The router grabbed the piece I was holding and sucked my hand right in. Ouch!
wonderful, thanks for making the plans available. <br> <br>I adapted the Pterodon plans to cut with an Epilog Min laser at the Champaign Urbana Community Fab Lab. <br> <br>Here is a blog article: <br> <br>http://cucfablab.org/blog/pterodon-project-adapted-instructablescom-inlcudes-plans
waw.. u made a big Tyranno! I bought 2.25cm Miss Tyrannosaurus almost 5 years ago, and now she has severe arthritis..! wooo.. but I love her!<br>
That's awesome!!<br>
This is what I built with help from the local CNC.<br><br>https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-TXCqsDGaS0Y/TqIsMP82IJI/AAAAAAAAJqw/dLMsojsG4XQ/s720/P1050086.JPG
add to my shop
I don't understand the cloud. Is there or is there not a cloud ? Why ? And if there is, how do pieces 8 and 3 hold together ?
Yes, there is a cloud marked on piece 8 to remind you to check the slots against piece 9. The question is answered in greater detail in one of my comments below. In the main photo on step 5 you can see my son putting these pieces together. Piece 3 slides into piece 9 and then piece 8 attaches.
Okay ! Thank you for your answer ! This cloud has been very confusing for me, I had not understood what it meant : I thought it was part of piece 8, I drew it and cut it in the wood (!!!) (And it did not fit very well with pieces 3, as you may imagine) Well, it learns me I should read all the comments before trying an instructable. I love this one. I will post photos of my little T-Rex soon. Thank you ! (PS : I printed the pdf on A4 paper, and my T-Rex happens to be only about 60cm high (sorry, I'm french, I don't measure with inches or feet. It must be about 2 feet high, a little less). How was I supposed to print it, so that it would be 6 feet tall ? I don't think I can put anything else than A4 paper in my printer...)
Sorry for the confusion. I've had a couple questions on that.. Maybe I should have dashed the cloud in or put a note on the piece. I would love to see pics once you have it complete! For the 6' tall model you have to print on 24&quot;x36&quot; paper. (Arch D) In metric that would be an ANSI D sheet, but it'll be a little undersized. ANSI D converts to 22&quot;x34&quot; in imperial. You'll have to take the file to a printing service or maybe find a drafting company who can print it for you.
Thank you for your answer ! Here is the photo. It is 55 cm high, made with 10mm plywood. (One piece is missing in the tail, I had lost it when I took the photo, just found it back.) It's not perfect and it's got a few problems (particularly around piece 8, that I will have to do again), but I learned to use the jigsaw with this instructable, so I'm still happy with what I've done. About piece 8 : I've cut the cloud, but did only 2 notches, and I don't undestand why there should be a third one : one notch for each piece 3 (right and left), and what is the third one for ? I haven't got a router, and I was wondering what it was for. Making round edges on the pieces ? Is it really important, does it change the T-rex a lot ? I couldn't see on the photos. Is it a usefool tool? Isn't it a little expensive ? Are you planning on giving the plans of another dinosaur ? I'd love to try a new one !
Looks Great!! OK, to answer your questions: -The third (middle) notch on 8 allows the spine and tail sections to meet up. Not overly critical, but looks a little nicer that way. -Yes, routers typically are used to round edges, but can also create nice, complexed edges, and can also cut grooves in wood. -Overpriced? Depends on which one you buy and how often you use it. I wouldn't buy one just for this project. (in fact, I borrowed my dads...again.. lol) -No, it doesn't change it a lot, it just makes it look a little more &quot;finished&quot; You could achieve the same effect by sanding down all of the edges, but that would take forever. -Other dinosaurs.. yeah I'm considering it. Was thinking of making a smaller scale pterosaur. (i.e. more affordable) but I haven't decided yet.
My spine and tail weren't very stable, even held by piece 8. I screwed metal splice plates alongside the notches in the spine and tail, above the slots, so they wouldn't interfere with the other pelvic pieces. It's rock solid now. Paint/stain blends the metal in with the wood. Awesome instructable and a great birthday present for my paleontologist girlfriend. I used 5mm ply for the bird and 3/4&quot; ply for the strong-jawed walker. We'll tuck these bad boys on the edge of the woods bordering the road so sharp-eyed passers-by can enjoy them. Thanks!
Ok ! Thank you very much for your answers. It's the first instructable I achieve, and I'm really happy with the result. Be sure I'll vote for you at the &quot;dadcando contest&quot; as soon as I will have understood how to.
I searched &quot;laser puzzle dxf&quot; into google and came up with a bunch of sites promising free downloads. The bee puzzle looks particularly interesting...
Hey, great instructable! It took me a couple weekends to finish mine. I had a blast completing it, and made a little video of the final assembly...Enjoy! <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QYGfGb8-_8" rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QYGfGb8-_8</a>
Great work, nice project. It would be nice if you would share your CAD files (DXF, SVG , CDR or whatever) with the rest of us, I would like to cut out the part with a laser cutter at a FabLab.
I'm considering it... Maybe if I place in the contest... (hint, hint).. LOL
If you do have a CAD or vextor file, that would be great. I have a triceratops model coming today and when I build them both to people size, they will fight.
Check out the Bonus Step I just added to the end of the instructable. Can you upload a scan or something of your Triceratops model? I'd like to make some pieces for that if you havent already.
I tried to scan it but it did not come out right. The site I linked to has the same model (http://www.blechwelt.com/teil_des_monats/dxf/0405-Brontosaurus-3mm.DXF) Not really a brontosaurus...

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