Introduction: Kaleidocycles- a Fun, 3D Origami Project That Changes Colors As You Rotate It

Kaleidocycles are 3D origami objects that transform colors as you turn them inside out. They are easy to make and only require you to print the template, cut, glue, and fold. Once you master the making of kaleidocycles, you can experiment with them by drawing designs and watching them contort your drawings in crazy ways. Ready to begin? Gather a few supplies and you'll be ready to go!

Step 1: Materials

Collect these materials before you start making your kaleidocycle. Find a computer and printer, craft/hobby knife or scissors, and a glue stick. I prefer a hot glue gun, but unfortunately I was out of hot glue sticks, so I used a glue stick. Both work fine, but a glue gun cools faster and is stronger than a glue stick.

Step 2: Print the Template

Now you are ready to begin. First, save the picture below to your files by right clicking on it and pushing save as. You could also try copying and pasting it. Insert it into Microsoft Publisher or some other means by which you can print it. You can resize it, but keep the same increments (example, 2x3" increased to 4x6"). Print the template in color. 

Step 3: Cut Out the Template

The next step in making your kaleidocycle is to cut out the template. Fine cut on the thick black lines, being cautious not to cut off any glue tabs. 

Step 4: Fold the Template

It's time to fold up your template. Fold, crease, and unfold all vertical and diagonal lines. By vertical lines I mean the lines that connect the points of the diamond (refer to the second picture). By diagonal lines I mean the lines separating the different colored diamonds (also refer to the second picture).

Step 5: Put Together Your Kaleidocycle

Its time for the final assembly of your kaleidocycle. Put some glue on the first glue here triangle. Pinch the paper in. You will not need to make any new creases, so pinch and wiggle the paper around until the glue here triangle slides under the triangle on the opposite side of the paper. You should now have some sort of 3D shape that flexes in the center. Repeat this step on the other glue here triangles. In the end you should have something that resembles a segmented paper worm.

Step 6: Finish Your Kaleidocycle

Now that you have a segmented flexible worm, it is time to finish your kaleidocycle. Apply glue to the end tabs that say glue here. This is where hot glue comes in handy, but a glue stick will still work. Slide the glue here tabs into the opposite end of the worm. Turn and work your kaleidocycle until the tabs stick to the walls of the opposite end. If you don't have any luck with this, try putting small tape donuts on the tabs.  

Step 7: Finished!

You are finished! Try folding your kaleidocycle inside out to change colors. If you need help turning it, consult the video in the introduction. Now that you know how to fold a basic kaleidocycle, you can start drawing patterns on them. There is even a website,
that allows you to put your own photos on the kaleidocycle rather then just colors. Have fun with your kaleidocycles!

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