While experimenting with some wooden skewers and cardboard, I found a few ways to make cubes and other shapes from simple materials. By putting these out as Instructables, I hope to promote constructive play and learning. Variations on this instructable are encouraged, for example using different size cardboard pieces, using corflute to replace cardboard and using sticky tape or glue to replace clips.
Step 1: Stuff You'll Need.
Cardboard or Corflute, scissors, ruler, phillips head screwdriver, stationery clips, glue or sticky tape, pen, 3mm skewers, compass, straight edge.
Step 2: Marking Out
You will be making a cube using cardboard pieces as the corners or nodes.
Start by marking out 8 intervals of 25mm each along a straight side of the cardboard.
Place a straight edge next to your markings and draw lines 50mm apart to mark out 4 strips.
Mark the strips at 25mm intervals.
Mark out 50mm squares in a 2 x 4 grid.
Locate and mark the mid points of the squares using the 25mm grid pattern.
Draw circles 7mm radius using the square mid points as centres.
Step 3: Cutting and Folding
Cut out your 8 squares.
Hold the ruler over a square and flatten the cardboard using the screwdriver on 2 lines, one aligned with cardboard flutes and the other at 90 degrees. Flex the cardboard along these lines so it will bend easily.
Fold the square back on itself along a score line so the circle stays visible and use the circle as a marker to cut out a vee slot. Unfold to reveal the hole in the squares centre.
Cut in the same direction as the flutes from the middle of a square edge to the centre hole.
That's it for one square but you will need to cut out the other 7 before you can complete the cube.
Step 4: Finishing the Cube
Place some skewers in the cut square as shown, it can then be folded up to form a node or cube corner.
To hold it in place, use a stationary clip or sticky tape or glue.
You'll need 8 clips and 12 skewers to make the cube. Assemble a node on each end of a skewer until the cube is made.
But that's not all! As well as cubes and oblongs (cubes with different face sizes), you can make triangular prisms (illustrated) and tetrahedrons using the same methods. But these nodes are set up to make cubes with 90 degree angles so there will be a bit of squishing and bending and distortion when you try the other shapes.
Have Fun, Best Wishes