In December 2011, the Instructables Team took to the streets of San Francisco, proudly wielding before them a 12-foot cardboard Trojan horse. Man, I love my job.

Why did this happen? We had been invited to the Autodesk Christmas party just a few blocks away from our lab and we thought we should take along a present. Something unique. Something memorable. Something big enough to conceal a crack team of cardboard-sword-wielding troops.

I had been playing around with a preview version of Autodesk's new 123D Make software, a program for turning 3D models into a series of slices that can be laser cut and assembled in real life.  This technology is tremendous fun to play around with, as it has the potential to rapidly prototype anything from elaborate papercraft projects to paneled items of clothing to flat-pack emergency shelters. This seemed like a great opportunity to test it out with a real life quick fabrication challenge: a Trojan horse.

The Trojan horse, of course (of course!), could be seen as a metaphor for the way in which Autodesk acquired Instructables last year, little suspecting the creative havoc we would wreak once we'd infiltrated the corporation's perimeter. I'm certainly not suggesting that this was our intention, only that a cynic might see it as such.

Read on to find out more about how I made the horse!

Step 1: Making the 3D Model

First, I needed a 3D model.

Rather than use someone else's model of a Trojan horse, I decided to design my own from scratch. I knew that I wanted the final model to be quite simple and angular, as this would make it easier to deconstruct into a sensible number of cardboard panels. Fortunately, it's much easier to model a stylized low-resolution horse than a realistic and detailed one.

My initial plan was to have enough room in each pair of legs for someone to stand, with the person in the rear bent forward and the person in the front standing upright, much like with a traditional pantomime horse, only much larger. In fact the horse ended up so large that the person at the back would be able to stand upright quite comfortably.

I modeled the horse in Blender, starting with a simple cube and extruding new faces from it until I had a very rough outline of a horse, as shown in the first image here. I then gradually refined the shape of the horse, subdividing the edges where necessary, until I had something much more distinctive. I modeled the ears, the tail and the mane separately, then joined them to the horse with a Boolean operation.

The whole time I was modeling the horse, I was thinking, "Would this look good 50 feet tall and made of wood?" As design briefs go, I quite enjoyed that one.
<p>hi - very nice</p>
<p>This is pretty awesome! I'm just getting started with 123D Panel function!</p>
<p>I know I'm about three years late to the party, but this is SO RAD!! I came here looking for tips on creating low-poly shapes (I want to create some welded sheet metal forms), but I ended up being totally riveted (get it?) by the story. Great writing, too!</p>
<p>sencillamente genial</p>
It's great! What about 3d-model file?
Relly Nice
This is really great! I work at an inpatient psych center for adolescents- this would be an awesome project for them. Do you share the patterns or a kit?
<strong>This is the greatest instructable ever.</strong>
I have seen this thing in person, a few times. Once at the HQ, and once at Maker Faire. It is pretty darn big, but i didn't know it could support people inside.
Holy cow this is so cool!! Great 'able
awsome! how many people can you fit in it? when are you making the rest of the chess peices?
I hardly ever take the time to make a comment, but your presentation is so fun, impressive and clear I just have to say: BRAVO!
Wouldn't &quot;giant&quot; trojan horse...imply larger than the original? JUST SAYING :D
I don't know. how big was the last horse you made out of paper then? XD
Yeah how many Greeks could you possibly get into this paper model? Wait a minute, this is the Internet, I don't want to know!
Beware of geeks bearing gifts. . .
No it is beware of geeks bearing gifs.
&quot;What about a large wooden badger?&quot;&quot;
Run away!
HEY! I walked by you on the street last month! It's super cool to see you here on Instructables. :)
50' and made of wood? The one I helped design and build did. See Bart's link. Google Sketchup and Vectorworks.
Employee &quot;Sorry I was late boss, there was a giant horse crossing the street, no joke&quot;<br><br>Boss &quot;Oh don't worry it was just the Instructables team again&quot;
Fantastic! I saw this model in person and I have to say that is just as amazing in real life!<br><br>One minor note: The terminology of &quot;Papercraft&quot; only applies to card stock or lighter sheet construction. For posterboard and heavier material, the correct usage is &quot;Cardboard- Engineered&quot;.
amazeballs. pure amazeballs. Great work Oliver! I love hearing people's reactions! And i love getting asked by our neighboring buildings &quot;what was that giant horse all about?&quot;
I'd like to suggest people gather up coroplast political campaign signs after an election to use for cardboard projects. A trojan horse made of these would be quite a statement. Another ACAD instuctable &amp; or cardboard project 'd like to suggest is solar cooker plans, aluminum foil is glued to the cardboard or coroplast.
This is beautiful! I wonder how you'd feel about posting the templates for each piece? I teach middle school and would love a building project like this with them.
Pretty cool, but I don't know if you can call it a giant Trojan horse. I mean, it's pretty small by Trojan horse standards, unless you plan on smuggling in a crack team of midget assassins.
I was just about to post about the size of it... then I logged in and your comment was here. Glad I'm not the only one who thought that. =P
Just thinking that. Maybe it is a Giant Miniature Trojan Horse?
..WOW...this reminds me of the Iranian government's recent campaign against Western influences of the &quot;Barbie doll.&quot; How did you come-up with this idea?<br><br>BRILLIANT!<br><br>Ref: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/24/iran-barbie-doll-crackdown-campaign?newsfeed=true
It's like a teeny tiny version of the one that burned on the playa.. see bartholomew's link below..
This is just wonderful.<br><br>(And by the way, I hope you've seen the adventures of this Trojan Horse in Australia... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs3SfNANtig )<br><br>Thanks for the great - and inspiring - documentation!
Stuff it with Spartans and go raid something, just AWESOME!!!
@PenfoldPlant; I tweeted it. Why oh why are we so fascinated with the Trojan <em>Equus ferus</em>? That said, how many papercraft Trojans can you fit into it? Cheers! : ) Site
&quot;Would this look good 50 feet tall and made of wood?&quot; Yes, yes it would. :)<br>http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobbiesal/6219121331/in/pool-1728824@N25
Love the video! It was a funny story. <br>I could hear Randy saying that!<br>Tell Randy his mother says hello! :-)
Splendid! What an achievement, congratulations!
Epic Beyond Belief!
I'm so excited this is fully documented now. :D
Did Randy say &quot;Next time I ride in the front and no stopping at Taco Bell?&quot;

About This Instructable




Bio: Artist in Residence at Pier 9, currently exploring a vast array of new tools with which to injure myself.
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