Paper is a very traditional way of making kites, and tetrahedrons are particularly easy to fly. This superlight version is designed for light breeze conditions. I used a Sierpiński tetrahedron fractal model for extra visual interest. I made it metallic gold because I'd like to try flying at night, and because it's so unexpected as a kite color.
Assuming you're working indoors, the most important consideration when making one of these is to be sure it fits through your doorway. The whole thing is equilateral triangles so you don't have many options for trying to angle it through a narrow doorway.
The Sierpiński tetrahedron is built up in iterations. It's built on a simple tetrahedron made of 4 equilateral triangles. The first iteration is 4 of those tetrahedrons, stacked to form the proportion tetrahedron. That unit times 4 is the next iteration, and so on. One iteration uses 4 tetrahedrons, 2 iterations uses 16, 3 iterations uses 64, 4 iterations requires 256.
This kite is made from paper and bamboo, and is held together with white glue and cotton thread.
(I'll add some in-flight pictures as soon as I can have a photo friend and a gentle breeze at the same time!)
Step 1: Supplies and Equipment
- lightweight strong paper - rice or mulberry paper is traditional, 18lb translucent sketch paper from canson worked excellently, too
- bamboo skewers
- white glue
- #10 cotton crochet thread or similar thin string made from a natural material
- acrylic paint (optional)
- utility knife with fresh blades
- needlenose pliers
- block of wood or other surface you can damage without consequences
- paint brush
- container for water
- kite flying string
- mitre box saw or other cutting equipment
- masking tape
- dull large eye needle
You're handling sharp stuff, breakable stuff, and splintery stuff in this project. Use the hand, eye and body protection you need to walk away intact.