Pepakura (often referred to as "Pep") is a program that creates buildable papercraft models. Using 3 dimensional data, Pepakura allows the model to be unfolded to a flat template to be cut, folded, and glued together. Pepakura accepts a range of 3D file extensions, and can save files in its native extension (.pdo).
Step 1: Download Pepakura
To download Pepakura, you will need to visit Pepakura's website
Select "Download" from the left. Once on the download page, select Pepakura Designer. Follow the download and installation instructions on that page.
Step 2: Download the Armor Files
Step 3: Opening a .pdo File
- Open up the Pepakura Designer program.
- Once Pepakura Designer is open, select "Open" under the "File" tab.
- Find the file that you will be printing out and open it.
- From here you should see two windows. The one on the left is the 3D model you opened. The window on the right is where the unfolded pieces will appear.
Step 4: Remove Face Color
You can save ink by turning off the gray fill color that may be enabled. The color isn't necessary, as you won't see it when your piece is finished. Simply click the "BothWindows" tab at the top, and un-check "Use materials for faces". This should turn your model white, as well as all of the pieces shown on the right.
Sometimes the option is already unchecked. If it is, this step is not needed.
Step 5: Changing Paper Size
If you are using a file formatted for A4 paper, then you might need to change it to letter format. To change the page configuration from A4 to letter:
- Select the "File" tab and select "Print and Paper Configuration".
- Change the paper size to letter from A4.
- You should also change the margins as low as possible. 10 is a good number.
Step 6: Scale Your Printout
The term Scaling is referring to how big Pepakura will make the finished model. If scaling is off, your finished model could be to big or to small. Most of the newer models are already scaled properly for someone about 6' tall.
Step 7: The Scaling Formula
You can use this formula to determine how big you should make your armor: The Master Chief is 7'2" tall (86 inches).
- Find out your height in inches.
- Add 4-6 inches to that(If you don't,your armor will not fit)
- Divide your height by 86. (xx / 86 = x.xxxxx)
- Take the number you found in step 3, and multiply it by the current scale (usually around 31.9).
- Go to Pepakura Designer, open the .pdo file, and go to the "scale" and then "scale factor".
- Enter the number you found in step 4 in the "scale" box.
Note: Keep in mind: the size of the default scale that's in use before you edit is from the base of the ground to the top outside of MC's helmet. You don't really want the top of your head to be touching the top of the inside of the helmet if you expect it to fit right. So you may want to add two or three inches to your actual height before doing the math. This may help other areas as well, where it could come through a bit tight. After you print, double check that all flaps have numbers on them. Also, print a Bicep with the scaling you have decided for yourself to make sure that it fits properly. It is much easier to make a bicep than it is a helmet.
You could also go to the following link for pepakura file scaling methods;
Each method in the above link is desinged to help you scale your pepakura armour with ease and great accuracy.
Step 8: Rearranging Layout
Since letter and A4 paper are different sizes, the pieces will usually not fit after you change the paper size. You will need to re-align them to fit on the pages.
First, get rid of the 3D window, so that you will have more room to re-arrange the pieces. Select the "Configuration" tab, and click on "Show Only 2DPatternWindow".
To space the patterns out, you'll need to use the "Select and Move" tool. You can select it in the right-click menu. Now, arrange all of the piece so they all fit on the pages, and don't overlap. You can put as many pieces on one page as you can without overlap, but some space aids in cutting it out.
Using only the "Select and Move" tool, you can arrange all of the pieces. However, if you don't want to waste paper, you can use the "Rotate Part" tool to arrange the pieces closer, and conserve paper.
To use the "Rotate Part" tool, select it in the right-click menu. Now when you click on a piece, small circles will appear on its vertexes. Select a pivot vertex. There should now be a cross hair on it. Now, click and drag another vertex in order to spin the piece.
Position your parts to your satisfaction.
Step 9: Pepakura Printing Settings
After you have the paper resized, and the patterns re-aligned, you should be able to print. There are a few more things that you may want to change before printing though.
You can change whether or not there are flaps (which are used to tape or glue one pattern to the other), color the flaps, or change the width of the flaps.
You can turn on or off the Edge ID- it's a number that helps you match adjacent edges. From here you can also flip the ID position and change the font size. Size 6 font will reduce the chance of numbers overlapping.
Here you can edit appearance of your line, if it is a Cut Line, Mountain Line (outside fold) or Valley Line (inside fold). Knowing the overall look of your Mountain and Valley lines will help you know whether you are folding out or folding in. If you are not satisfied with the line type defaults, you can also change them to your preference.
Step 10: Print
Before you print it, you may want to do the following:
1. Download PrimoPDF and install.
2. This will create a virtual printer that, when printed to, creates PDF files.
3. Print your PEP pages to that printer and create the file.
4. Open the PDF file.
5. Select all tab numbers on page one and copy/paste them to NotePad.
6. Fix the numbers so they show up one tab number per line.
7. copy this list to Excel, or Open Office (Free), so you get something like this:
--------------------------. 1| | | | | | | <--Page Numbers --------------------------| 5| | | | | | | 13| | | | | | | 99| | | | | | | 55| | | | | | | <--- Tabs on that page 43| | | | | | | 12| | | | | | | etc.... | | | | | --------------------------'
8. The first line is the page number, the other numbers are the tab numbers on that page.
9. repeate steps 5 to 7 until you get a spreadsheet with one column per PDF page.
10. When you are locating the tabs, all you have to do is CTRL-F, enter the tab number, and you will know on what page its on.
Check it one last time, and maybe again.. then print it.