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Published by hoodsmom
Supplements directions for Philip Noble's flexacube folded from a single strip of paper
Supplements directions for Philip Noble's flexacube folded from a single strip of paper

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Published by: hoodsmom on Dec 27, 2009
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1This document supplements the pdf found @http://www.britishorigami.info/academic/thok/flexicube.pdf The pdf gives directions for making a flex-a-cube (designed by Philip Noble) from asingle long strip of paper.
Italics = important clarification of the pdf.
Figures are numbered to match those in the pdf (i.e.,
 Figure 1
in this document is a photoof 
 Figure 1
, the diagram in the pdf).Page 1 (of pdf). Read page 1 of the pdf to find out how to prepare the paper. The totallength of your strip should be at least 135 times its width. Each cube is made of a strip16 times as long as your strip is wide and there are 8 cubes. Then you need extra to lock the ends. If you are going to be overlapping and joining strips to make a long stripinstead of using one very long strip to start with, you will likely need even more totallength. For your first flex-a-cube, try 3/4-in wide strips.If you are joining strips, there is no need to make the complete strip up front. It’seasier to cut and mouse-ladder smaller strips and afterwards lengthen your work asneeded. However, the smaller strips should be at least 20 times as long as wide - preferably about 40 times as long as wide. If you are joining paper that is already firmlycreased or perforated (e.g., pin-feed computer paper), avoid putting the perforations at theedges of the rectangles; doing so puts too much stress on the paper in the finished model.Put the perforations on the faces instead.The first time you fold a flex-a-cube, number the faces of the first two cubes.You at least need to know where faces 8 and 4 on both cubes are.A hemostat is very helpful. If you don’t have a hemostat, a small (jewelry-sized)needle-nose pliers or tweezers might do instead.Page 2. The diagrams and directions in the pdf can be confusing.
But pay attention tohow the diagonals at 5 and 11 are oriented - the pdf’s diagrams are very good atshowing the direction in which the paper takes off after the diagonal, which is veryimportant.
 Fig 1 - in the photo the black numbers are onthe “top” of the paper and the pink numbersare on the “flip side.” Whether the verticalstrip lies on top of the horizontal strip or vice versa is not critical as long as thedirection the paper travels after the diagonalfold matches the pdf diagrams.
2Fig 1a. Square 5 is rotated to lie
on top of 
square 1. I like to think of whatever direction the strip comes out of the cube atthis point as the “front” of the cube (i.e.,square 6 always comes out towards the“front” of the cube).Fig 1b. Square 6 is folded under square 1,square 7 is in back, 8 is on top of 3 and 9 is
in front.
Square 10 is folded under squares 1and 6. Square 11 is folded over 7.Then run the strip under square 2 on theright, over square 9
in front,
under square 4on the left, over 7/11 and under 2 again.When you’re folding the flex-a-cube, it’sless important to know the face numbersthan when to stop. Stop after sliding the tailover 7/11 and under the next face.When a cube is complete, the following faces show: 2, 4, 8, 10, 13 and 15. You need toknow that in case you are taping strips together and want the tape not to show. Avoid putting tape on faces 5 and 11; doing so makes it hard to form the cube.Page 3. If you have a long strip (at least 35 times the width), fold your first cube by positioning square 1 in the center of the strip. If you have a shorter strip, start further tothe right (“B”) side - remember you need 16 squares and a tail long enough to join more paper. so plan accordingly.Fig 5. Orientation of strip prior to foldingsecond cube.
3Page 3 (cont)Fig 5a. Roll square 5
on top of 
square 1,square 6 under square 1, square 7 in back of the cube and so forth.Page 4.Fig 7. Open the hinges (rotate the #8faces to the outside) so that the hingesand #4 faces are on top and the strips lieon the table. Fold the 5 and 11diagonals according to the pdf diagram.
When the model is complete, if thehinges and #4 faces are on top in the first set, the hinges between sets 1-2will be on the table, hinges between sets 2-3 will be on the outer sides and hinges between sets 3-4 will be on thetable.
Fig 7a. After completion of the secondset, if the set 1 hinges and #4 faces areon top, the strips should be coming outfrom the outer sides of the second setcubes.Hint: if you are not sure you’re doing things right, fold the cube to the point where youslide square 12 under side square 2. The strip will be coming out in its final position andthe cube will be stable enough to see if the strip is in the right place. If it isn’t, you canmore easily redo your folding because you slid/locked the strip under only one squarerather than three.

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