Picture of Kaleidocycles:   amazing  dynamic  papercraft
Kaleidocycle Collection.jpg
Kaliedocycles of Various Segments.jpg
Mobius Kaleidocycle.jpg
An easy, fun, and unique paper construction project.

What is a kaleidocycle?

A three-dimensional ring, composed of a series of linked tetrahedra (pyramids). This papercraft design is truly unique due to its dynamic capability: the ring is able to be twisted in upon itself!

Kaleidocycles are somewhat similar to kaleidoscopes: they are both optical, circular, and dynamic. A kaleidoscope is operated by rotating the end of a tube. A kaleidocycle is operated by twisting itself. If you have never seen a kaleidocycle before, you are in for a real treat.

Let's get started!

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Step 1: Assemble materials.

Picture of Assemble materials.
Materials required:

~ 1 sheet of plain paper cardstock

~ Elmers glue

~ X-Acto knife (using a new blade is helpful)

~ straightedge ruler

Step 2: Print out the kaleidocycle design.

Picture of Print out the kaleidocycle design.
Kaleidocycle 4x Blank.jpg
This is a 4 segment kaleidocycle.

Use the design with the "Ocean Blue" colors if you want to get started right away.
Or try the blank design, then fill in your own color scheme. has terrific color combination libraries to choose from. Four color combinations work well with this kaleidocycle design.

Print the image at 100% size (a little over 8.5" wide).

Step 3: Score the kaleidocycle design.

Picture of Score the kaleidocycle design.
Locate a flat surface that is safe to cut on.

Using your X-Acto knife, carefully score each one of the diagonal lines. The scores do not need to be cut very deep into the cardstock. Take it slow -- accuracy is important.

After that, score each one of the vertical lines.

Step 4: Cut out the kaleidocycle design.

Picture of Cut out the kaleidocycle design.
Save For Future Template!.jpg
Now carefully cut out the design along its perimeter.

TIP: If you cut the design out carefully, you will be able to use the leftover cardstock frame as a template for future constructions. Just tape the template over a sheet of material and use it as a guide to cut out new kaleidocycles.
DUO00371 year ago
so cool
JadeShark1 year ago
meh.. any origamist could make this... easy, waste of printing paper and ink.
Win Guy4 years ago
I LOVE this! I'm subscribing. 5/5
Win Guy
fixxon19725 years ago
Funny enough i found a generator website for making kaleidocycles with your own photos.

You can make either a Hex or Oct one.

Hex kaleidocycles are a ring of 6 connected origami pyramids with 4 hexagonal faces.


Oct kaleidocycles are a ring of 8 connected origami pyramids with 4 square faces.

Below is link and a pic attached of a Kaleidocycle of 4 sportscars in 4 colours so you can see how made up.
aoife_abu6 years ago
Cool! Brilliant instructable dude.
damn, now siccors find somting cools to make easy with easy stuff and now i cant find my pair of siccors
Lftndbt6 years ago
Nice work! How did you come up with that idea?
kaleidocycles (author)  Lftndbt6 years ago
Thanks! I was inspired by the MC Escher book, which I read about 15 years ago; it was first published way back in 1977.
implaxis6 years ago
I still have the original book somewhere. Some of them have Escher images on them.
ahremsee6 years ago
I made one of these in my math class at school. Haven't seen any of these in 25 years. Great Instructable.