A Paper Bank

Introduction: A Paper Bank

Hello, hope you're doing well! Today, we'll be making a very simple automata ~ a paper bank! By opening it up by pushing the lever, you can store some dollar bills in this portable, convenient bank.


1) Paper

2) Scissors

3) Scotch Tape (although any other tape likely works fine, too)

4) A Pencil + Colored Pencil

Step 1: The Two Cubes

Two cubes are going to be made to help create this bank. First off, draw six squares that come together to form a t-shape on the paper. Make sure you draw edges indicating where to bend and fold the paper when making the cube. Each square should be 2 inches long and wide, There should be two squares with square holes to fit our lever ~ one of which is in the center, the other is in the left of the center. Follow the image for reference. Both holes should be around 5/8 of an inch wide and long. Make sure to color it yellow, too. We want this to look nice.

Next, repeat those exact steps for the second cube, but instead, there center square will not have a hole.

Step 2: Folding It Together

Next up, you're going to want to cut away all the extra paper that you won't be using when making this cube. Once all that filler is out of the way, now it's time to fold the paper together to form a cube. If you followed the last step correctly, you should have edges that indicate where to bend the paper (so that a cube can take its shape). Tape together the squares, and you should have a nice-looking cube as seen above.

Do the same thing for the second cube, but do NOT tape the top part of the second cube. That top part is a cover for the bank, that will be lifted by the prop. Anyways, then tape the bottom of the second cube onto the top of the first cube. The top of the first cube and the bottom of the second cube will both have holes, so that the lever can go through both shapes.

Step 3: Drawing the Lever

The purpose of having a lever here is so that the prop can be lifted up and down to open and/or close the cover of the bank. To make the lever, the photo above should show you what shapes to make for this lever. Each rectangle will be about a half inch wide and two inches long, while each square is about 3/8 inches long and a half inch wide. The rectangle on the farthest right side of the paper will also be a half inch wide, but will be 5/8 inches long.

Step 4: Forming the Lever

Of course, now we have to actually make the lever. You know the deal: cut the extra paper, fold the edges of each shape of the lever, and then tape things together accordingly. The photo above is what your lever will probably look like.

Step 5: The Prop

This prop will not only signify what dollar bills to put in each place, but it will also lift the cover when the level is adjusted. Draw out the prop, and write down either $1, $5, or $10 / $20 (this is depending on which ones you haven't already done yet). Make sure to color it, too. When drawing the prop, these rectangles will be a half inch wide and 3/4 of an inch long. Then, the squares should be around a half inch wide and long.

Step 6: Setting Up the Prop

Similarly to the lever, we just fold the prop together and tape it together. Then, tape it onto the top part of one end of the lever. Before this, it is recommended that you put the lever through the cubes so that you don't have to worry about inserting both the lever and the prop.

Step 7: Repeat, Repeat.

Now that those first 6 steps are done, you've done it ... well, not really. We're talking about a diverse bank right now, and having just one station is NOT going to cut it. So how about three?! Repeat steps 1-6 two more times to create a combined total of three stations for our wonderful bank. Tape the sides of the bank (as seen above) to connect each bank together.

Step 8: You Did It!

If you've made it this far, awesome job! With only a few simple materials, you were able to create a cool automata. It might not be some advanced, boundary-pushing invention, but hey ~ it works well, and that's what matters most. Have fun saving that money!

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