Introduction: Floating Table Top
This looks impossible, sort of a table top held in the air by string. Actually, the weight of the upper structure places tension on the center string (attached to the pencil). The other three strings prevent the top from twisting or flipping--it's really not that hard to set up.
Research "tensegrity" for more information regarding this type of structure.
Fishing line (or string or thread)
These are the patterns for the cardboard pieces.
Cut six legs.
Glue three leg pieces together--twice.
Cut four body pieces.
Glue the four body pieces together.
Glue the legs to the body.
Cut six arms and poke holes in the top (to support a pencil).
Glue three arm pieces together, twice.
Glue the arms to the body assembly.
Cut two neck pieces.
Glue the center of the neck pieces (1/2 inch of neck) together as shown in the photo.
Cut the head piece.
Make the head as round as possible and tape the head ends together to form a cylinder.
Cut a head top.
Glue the head top to the head.
Glue the neck piece to the bottom of the head.
Glue the "wings" of the neck piece to the body.
Cut two top support pieces.
Glue the top support pieces together as shown.
Cut a top piece.
Glue the "wings" of the top support piece to the top.
Cut two base pieces.
Glue the base pieces together.
Cut twelve brace pieces. Glue six brace pieces together twice.
Glue the brace assemblies to the top support to make it more sturdy as shown in the photo.
Glue the robot character to the base.
Put a face on the character.
First, I poked a hole in the end of the top support. Then, I used six pound fishing line (to reduce visibility) and created a loop that is about two and one half inches long. String or thread will work here--whatever you have.
Cut twelve inches of fishing line (three times) and tape it to the top in the positions shown in the photo.
Push the pencil through the 2 1/2" loop you made in the earlier step.
Place tape (I used duct tape) on the base--at similar spots as the tape on the top.
With one hand, hold the top in "floating" position while securing each of the three pieces of fishing line, one at a time. The three "strings" will have slight tension--they will not be loose.
Cut off the surplus fishing line (string).
This is quite stable and will even support a small load.
Runner Up in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge