Sliceform Egg Using Silhouette




Introduction: Sliceform Egg Using Silhouette

About: Software consultant by day, artist by whenever I get time. I mostly do papercraft, costumes, and sculptural pieces. I'm interested in working some electronics into my art to make it more interactive.

Earlier this Spring I thought I would bring in the season with the representation of new life - the egg! I saw such an egg online, but was disappointed in the template, so I created my own. The original I cut by hand (about 30 minutes with an X-Acto knife). But Instructables provided our makerspace with a Silhouette which makes it SO much faster!!!

Download the attached file to load into your Silhouette.

For those of you who don't have a Silhouette and want to cut by hand, here is a PDF version

Step 1: Step 1: Prepare the Mat

This step is important. You cannot use a brand new super sticky mat, or you won't get the cardstock up in once piece. You need to de-stick the mat. I was fortunate enough to have a fabric artist work on the device before I got to use it. That means it had lint on it. Just what I wanted! I hadn't experimented very much with the Silhouette, so I didn't know how much lint I needed. It needed more than the photos showed. Get it to be about as sticky as a Post-It Note. Mine was about twice as sticky, and that caused the paper to be slightly gummy and curl more than I would have liked.

Step 2: Step 2: Stick Your Cardstock on the Mat

Put your cardstock on the mat. I chose pink for no other reason than it was near the top of my stack and light enough to show the cut lines for the Instructable. Make sure it is fully flat - no air bubbles.

Step 3: Step 3: Load the Software and Silhouette

Load the file into Silhouette Studio (Attached again in case you didn't download it already).

Configure Studio to use cardstock, and under Advanced, tell it to print only the red lines, not the blue.

I set my knife height to 3. But do a test cut first to make sure it works for you and your machine.

Load the mat into the Silhouette

Step 4: Step 4: Cut!

Tell Silhouette Studio to send the design to the cutter, and wait!

Step 5: Step 5: Remove the Mat

Take the mat off the cutter.

I forgot the Silhouette isn't a printer - paper goes out the back, too! I had stray cables behind the cutter, so the paper got caught on the cable and peeled back, wrinkling it a bit. I just pressed it back down.

Step 6: Step 6: Peel the Negative

Carefully peel up the negative. Be very careful ad the ends of the tiny strips. If the thin strips don't come away cleanly, tear them off where it is easiest, and leave them in. We'll take care of them in a future step.

Step 7: Step 7: Peel Off the Eggs

Using the scraper that comes with the Silhouette, carefully pull up the eggs. If necessary, bend the mat to make the paper "pop" off at the edges. Don't rush!

Step 8: Step 8: Clean Up the Edges

If your cutter didn't cut the thin ends very well, that's okay. Just cut them out with an X-Acto knife. I actually didn't cut so much as scrape them out.

Step 9: Step 9: Start Assembling

If you look at the Silhouette Studio file, I've numbered the slices. You need to assemble them in that order.

First, put slices 1 and 2 together as pictured.

Step 10: Step 10: Add Slices 3 and 4

Slide slices 3 and 4 from below as pictured, on opposite sidesof the egg.

Step 11: Step 11: Slices 5 and 6

Turn the egg 1/4 turn and slide slices 5 and 6 from the top as pictured. These will be at right angles to the previous two slices. If you look at it from above, it makes a window pane shape.

Step 12: Step 12: Add Slices 7 and 8

Slide slices 7 and 8 from the top on opposite sides of the egg. Note that these two slices have three "down" slots and two smaller slots on the sides going up. It's important that these go in before the last 2. Don't mix them up - it's easy to do!

Step 13: Step 13: Last 2 Slices and Lessons Learned

There is only one way these can go. It's a bit tricky to get all slots to line up, but start with the big slots first - you can always pull them out slightly to get them to align.

Lessons I learned:

  • Make sure there is plenty of room in front of and in back of the Silhouette
  • De-stick the mat a little more.
  • If I had thought to bring an iron, I could have pressed the paper after peeling it up.
  • The high-end version of Studio would probably have been a lot easier, since I could have imported from Illustrator.
  • Some people thought these were tulips. I guess that works just as well for Spring!

Step 14: Step 14: Wow Your Friends!

That's it. You could make a bunch of these in coordinating colors to decorate for Spring, or Easter, or just for fun. They're simple, and they're fun to play with. Why? They collapse flat! You can send them in an envelope or just mesmerize yourself by opening and closing them repeatedly!

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Big and Small Contest

    Big and Small Contest
  • Make It Bridge

    Make It Bridge
  • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

    Game Design: Student Design Challenge