Introduction: Kaleidocycles

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Your're going to make a Kaleidocycle, a kinetic paper sculpture that you can flex and rotate to show new drawings, patterns or stories. A Kaleidocycle is made up of tetrahedrons or triangular based pyramids linked together. You need at least 6 tetrahedrons to make a Kaleidocycle but you can add as many tetrahedron pairs as you like, though the wider it gets the more challenging it is to hold and rotate.


Step 1: Design & Cut Out

You can add whatever design you want to your kaleidocycle- simple geometric designs are best for your first try. The non equilateral triangle sections are the ones that need to be colored. The two trapezoidal sections and the 6 right triangle sections do not need to be colored- they are tabs and will be hidden.

You can cut apart the individual sections of the pattern and tape them down to make a pattern that creates a perfectly lined up picture. (see image 2) If you do this, be consistent about which edges are inside and which are outside. Keep A, C, E, G outside and B, D, F, H outside. (see image 3)

Once you are done designing your kaleidocycle, cut it out along the thick black outer edges.

Step 2: Fold & Crease

Fold and crease long all of the dotted lines and also the diagonal lines (8 total). Make your folds as straight as possible. Crease both downward and upward since the kaleidocycle will flex in both directions as it rotates.

Step 3: Tape the First End

Start with the two little rectangular tabs & fold them onto the back side of the kaleidocycle. Tape the end of the kaleidocycle together. This will form your first triangular pyramid.

Step 4: Fold the Triangular Tabs Under

Next take the triangular tabs and push them underneath the colored section with matching symbols. Tape them down. Do this two more times.

Step 5: Finish the Tetradedra Chain

At the end close the open end of the kaleidocycle by taping it together. Your kaleidocycle will now look like a chain of triangular pyramids.

Step 6: Finish & Play

Connect the open edges of your kaleidocycle to make it a ring instead of a chain. Make sure you put tape on both sides of the connection. Now you can play with your kaleidocycle and cycle through all of your designs.

Step 7: