Picture of How to make a paper model from scratch.
How to release your sick imagination onto the public using nothing but paper and our friend the internets... oh and glue and something sharp

If ye are lazy and just want to ho some free models then have a look at my Deviant Art site - theres a few free plans up on there.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
The way i design paper toys is to work at them in a 3d modelling program and then export to another program that breaks them down into nets that you can print off and assemble. I'm not saying this is the only way, there are people out there that design completely using pen and paper. Props to them, but you have to be precise and i'm a messy kinda guy.

The program we are going to use to make the nets is called Pepakura Designer 2 - It's a japanese program and so the documentation for it is a bit squiffy. It's also shareware - you can work on a project and print it out but you can't save. There is a way around this but if you are going to be using this on a regular basis i would reccomend splashing out on the complete version. Its not much and its a way of thanking the peeps who went and made the prgram.
Pepakura Designer 2

For the initial modelling software, use what you are comfortable with - Pepakura designer accepts a wide range of filetypes (listed here). However if you as skint as me there are several freeware alternatives to the big name programs:
Metasequoia LE - This is the one i use, it's freeware and again japanese so the help files arent too hot and there are a few bugs that crop up every once in a while.
Google Sketchup *edit* I had bit of a dabble with this the other day and as people on the comments pointed out, it doesnt save natively to a format that pepakura designer can read, but you can export your models in google earth 4 format and it does work. Thanks guys.
**double edit** Aparently there's a plugin for sketchup that converts the faces into SVG format for use in inkscape http://code.google.com/p/sketchup-svg-outline-plugin/

As well as the software ye are going to need a printer and some fair meaty paper or card- theres a lot of play in the weights but go for something that will be sturdy but isnt so thick that the peices dont fit together properly. My mate allofusarelost even uses photo paper for his. Play around

You are also going to need something sharp - scalpel/ craft knife (or an "xacto" to be all brand namey). I'd go the whole hog and use a metal ruler and a cutting mat too (scrap thick cardboard also works but it needs to be big). If these scare the bejeebies out of ye or your 'rents wont let you, you could always fall back on the age old standby, scissors.

And then another dilemma... Adhesives! PVA (white glue/wood glue) works as does balsa cement (my fav when i have it) and are usefull for fiddly bits - tho pva has a tendancy of warping sometimes. You can also use a glue gun but as with those things it will always be a bit messy and "imprecise". Another option is to use double sided tape. This has excellent hold on large areas as long as you can get around the back of it but is a little time consuming cutting strips to length. When it is all prepared it is very quick to make and doesnt require you to hold pieces together for a long time whilst the glue sets.
Superglue is a nono! - it was designed for sticking together peoples not papers and you mind wind up with a cool yet useless bodymod.

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amalteser2 years ago
Can photographs be converted to 3D models?
TangMu (author)  amalteser2 years ago
There are two different programs I've come across that might be what you're looking for:

The first is called reconstructme http://reconstructme.net/ which I haven't played with and the second is called 123d catch by autodesk http://www.123dapp.com/catch that I've seen a demo for and was suitably impressed.

Other than this it is possible to load photos into your 3d design program to use as templates to trace around in the different planes but it depends on your program.

Hope this helps
not unless u have high grade cameras and the equipment for it
any mac alternative to pepakura? this looks like fun...
It didn't work for me, but you might be able to wrap the executable using Wineskin. Google Wineskin for more info.
Yes, Dunreeb Cutout: http://www.dunreeb.com. It runs natively under mac.
There's even a free demo version to start out immediately. Have fun.
ninja_maker4 years ago
Hey could you send me an email on how to use Metasequoia and it's basics plz. That would be great if u could. Here's my email. pokemaster247@gmail.com.
PietJuh4 years ago
one of my favourites is Canon Papercraft
elkalpin5 years ago
nice instructable and you're good at drawing!
Kaiven5 years ago
I got it to work! If someone needs help, you can ask me :D It's awesome! Thanks for the Instructable!
amakerguy6 years ago
Hey check out fiddlers green They have a lot of nice airplanes and buildings to make out of paper that you can print!
TangMu (author)  amakerguy6 years ago
Cheers, I'll add that to the list. Came across it ages back but have completely forgotten about it O_O
do you have the full version
GMer566 years ago
Nice robot!
sharkstun976 years ago
i dont mean to be mean but i rather wait for the mcor matrix to come out
TangMu (author)  sharkstun976 years ago
wow that looks really cool... I've been eyeing up a craftROBO myself or making one of those rep-rap jobbies when i have the time.
What paper is good for these models cause printer paper stinks!
TangMu (author)  mega man 4bm6 years ago
try and get some card that will fit in your printer without it a sploding - photo paper or 200 gsm card is also a good bet.
do you know of a mac compatible program?
mg0930mg6 years ago
I wanted to make this pic below as a paper model. I wanted the length to be 3 1/2 ft. Can someone do it for me please, and email me at mg0930mg@yahoo.com If you can you are awesome.
forgot the picture.
here's another... It is Sora's, from Kingdom hearts, keyblade.
kingdom key 4.jpg
TangMu (author)  mg0930mg6 years ago
if you can find a small keyblade papercraft you can scale it up using a projector with the plans printed on acetate - measure up how big the parts are on the small scale, and then how big you want them to be. Then project onto a wall and move the projector back and forth so that the lines are the right size when measured (I've done this several times to make large scale projects)

PS a quick google gave me this:
chamoo's keyblade
mg0930mg TangMu6 years ago
Thanks, but I am 13 and don't have acces to a projector, except one that hooks up to my movies or video games. Thanks for the link. Good Instructable.
Try using Blender its a free 3D design program, its the best free program I've ever encountered. I started making a life size creature using pepekura & Blender but so far have only finished the head.
I find it quite good.
its owned by microsoft btw.
TangMu (author)  red-king6 years ago
it reminds me a little of adobe atmosphere... i must've been one of the only peeps wandering thru those virtual worlds O_o
I wish I could use Blender...
how do I. ive looked and it liek wont do anything I htink its a mystery to be solved
Excuse me? Please have a look at this instructable.
TangMu (author)  Migeul Sanchez7 years ago
its on my to do list for when i have more time. I tried to get on a CAD/CAM course at uni but the program they were using just wasn't suited to creatives at all. Sure it did simulations and stress testing and was top of the line but it looked ugly and was far too confusing. Now i've graduated i've got all that lovely time called unemployment to look forward too :p
Really? DAZ|Studio and Poser are the best I've encountered.
Ayaan6 years ago
hey guys , i know that u r looking for making 3d modelling or animation.................... here is a link where iv downloaded many software like this.....

casey321b6 years ago
can I get one of the 3d programs that prints for free. or is it posible to you sketchUp
ewilhelm7 years ago
what is the link
Brother_D7 years ago
on the no saving thing, couldn't you just use printscreen and save in paint?
jjay107 years ago
i want to make a paint ball mask but i don't know how to work on pepekura
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