Introduction: Rubber Band and Cardboard Bungie Cord

About: I'm an applied physicist by training(phd Yale 2006, BA Berkeley 1998, math and physics), and have done physics research in the federal government and product development in the private sector, starting two of …

This is the fastener I use for coupling various things, including some that are documented here such as Structural-Octahedron, Cardboard-Triangle-Tube, Convert-Wood-Chairs-to-Modular-Structures/, Art-Box-1, and some other projects I'm working on that are not yet ready for publication.

Materials needed are

  • scrap cardboard
  • rubber bands(4 per unit made)
  • something to cut boxes with like a box cutter, razor blade or x-acto knife
  • marker
  • straight edge or triangle to trace

Step 1: Trace Out Triangle

I use my 3 inch triangle, which I call "TriangleC1" for this, but you can do it by eye easily enough with a ruler. The inner triangle I draw by first drawing three points for the vertices and adjusting until they look right, then connecting them with a ruler and marker.

Step 2: Cut Out Triangle

Cut out triangle. Be careful no to slice all the way through, you need the triangular loop to take a little tension so random rips are not great. Don't cut yourself!

Step 3: Add Rubber Bands

This is easier to show than to describe. Connect a chain of rubber bands to the triangle as shown. This process can induce a huge number of twists in each rubber band, mess around with them to remove the twists as you go and you should end up with a nice clean chain as shown. The length of the chain is up to you and can be increased or decreased over time as needed.

Step 4: Duplicate and Deploy

What makes this useful is if you have so many of them lying around that you don't have to think about it. Just as you would with a rubber band, staple, nail or wood screw if you need to fasten something this way you just grab and use instantly without thought. The way it works is that you put the triangle head through the end rubber band, and it is held there in a stable way as long as there is tension on it.

I use these to couple the Structural Octahedron in order to make large complex structures out of them. I also use them to connect my iPad holder to the Art Box, making a useful iPad stand that I can use for recording video and also doing computer type work on the iPad. It could also be used for a tablet cash register, and you could decorate Art Box with the logo of whatever establishment you're using the register at(that's a main reason I build the Art Box in the first place).

Also, the head triangle is a great place to decorate and document these. In the triangle fabrication process at the beginning you can add a step where you decorate a piece of paper of the same shape and paste it on. You can use this to add theme colors of a brand, university, theme, idea, band, etc. etc. So you can transmit interesting and beautiful information while also having a very soft and extensible way to connect things.