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You are on page 1of 17

Cube in a Cube

This is a chance to take a glimpse at what it would be like to be an engineer. With just

eighteen pieces of paper and some simple origami instructions, an intricate work of art will be

created. Then comes the math: finding the surface area and volume of the figure. Now more

than ever, skills like building a figure and having the math to back it up are essential in everyday

life, and will continue to be in the future. Below, it will be explained how to create a cube in a

cube, step by step, and all of the math that goes along with it.

Figure 1. Step 1

To fold the pieces of paper for the inner cube, start with 6-inch by 6-inch origami paper.

Filion 2

Figure 2. Step 2

Fold the piece of paper in half.

Figure 3. Step 3

Next, open up the paper, and fold the two sides to the fold line. At this point, the longer

side should still be 6 inches, but the shorter side should be 3 inches.

Filion 3

Figure 4. Step 4

After that, turn the piece of paper over. Fold the bottom right corner up, so that it is even

with the top of the paper and fold the upper left corner down, so that it is even with the bottom of

the paper. The top and bottom of the piece of paper should be 3 inches, as well as the sides in the

2 inches.

Figure 5. Step 5

Finally, fold the corners to the middle. Every side should now be 1.5

Repeat steps 1-5 five more times.

2 inches.

Filion 4

Figure 6. Step 6

To make the inner cube, start with six pieces of paper that were previously folded. At this

2 inches.

Figure 7. Step 7

Put one edge inside the flap of a different piece of folded paper.

Filion 5

Figure 8. Step 8

Take another piece of the folded paper and repeat the same step on the other side. Each

2 inches.

Figure 9. Step 9

Keep putting edges inside the flaps of other folded pieces of paper, adding new folded

pieces of paper as the cube progresses. At this point, every side should still be 1.5

long.

2 inches

Filion 6

Once all of the six folded pieces of paper are incorporated and the flaps are correctly

tucked into the open spaces, the cube should be complete. Since all that was done was putting

the edges of the folded pieces of paper into the flaps of other folded pieces of paper, the sides of

2 inches. All of the sides of the folded squares were 1.5 2 inches,

so it makes sense that when a triangle of a folded piece of paper is tucked into a flap of another

is 1.5

2 inches

Filion 7

To fold the pieces of paper for the outer cube, start with a 6-inch by 6-inch piece of

origami paper.

Fold the piece of paper in half.

Filion 8

Next, open up the paper, and fold the two sides to the fold line. The longer side should

still be 6 inches, but the shorter side should be 3 inches.

After that, fold the upper right corner to the top of the paper and the lower left corner to

triangles are 1.5 inches. The entire side length of the shorter side is 3 inches and the entire side

length of the longer side is 6 inches.

Filion 9

Flip the paper over and fold the lower right corner to the top of the paper. The side

outlined in blue is 3

2 inches.

Next, fold the upper left corner to the bottom of the paper. The sides outlined in red are 3

2 inches.

Filion 10

Finally, fold the piece of paper in half so that it looks like this. The inner edge is 1.5

2 inches and the outer edge is 3 2 inches. After that, the only step left to do is fold the

squares on the sides to make triangles with the color facing outwards. Repeat steps 1-17 eleven

more times.

Figure 6. Step 6

Filion 11

To make the outer cube, start with the twelve pieces of paper that were previously folded.

At this point, the inner edge of every folded piece of paper should be 1.5

2 inches.

Figure 7. Step 7

Tuck an edge of one piece of paper under the flap of a different piece of paper as shown.

Figure 8. Step 8

Filion 12

Tuck an edge of a new piece of paper under the flap of one of the already connected

pieces of paper. Repeat this same process once more to finish the first side of the outer cube.

2 inches.

Figure 9. Step 9

Next, tuck an edge of a new piece of paper under a flap on the corner so that the new

piece of paper is going downwards. Repeat this process for every corner, incorporating new

pieces of paper as the outer cube

progresses.

Filion 13

Continue tucking edges into the flaps to connect the final pieces of paper.

Once all of the pieces of paper are connected, the outer cube should be complete, and the

inner cube should be able to go in and out of the outer cube. The outer edges of the outer cube

should still be 3

Filion 14

6 s2=Surface Area

2

6 (3 2) =Surface Area

1082=Surface Area

Figure 12. Surface Area of the Outer Cube without Subtracting the Space

The figure above outlines the steps needed to solve for the surface area of the cube

without subtracting the space.

Formula for the Surface Area of a Square

6 s2=Surface Area

The figure above shows the process used to solve for the surface area of the hole in the

outer cube.

Surface Area(SA) Formula for the Cube without the

OutercubeSAHoleSA=CubeSA

Space

10827=OutercubeSA

81 inches2=OutercubeSA

The above figure demonstrates how to find the total surface area of the outer cube.

Side(s)2=Surface Area

Filion 15

6 s2=Surface Area

The figure above shows how to find the surface area of the inside cube.

Total Surface Area Formula

Substitution Property of Equality

Addition Property of Equality

27+81=Total Surface Area

2

The figure above shows how to solve for the total surface area of the cube inside a cube.

Quite a few steps are necessary to find the surface area of the entire cube in a cube. Five

steps have to be completed, as well as all of the little steps incorporated in the big steps. First,

the surface of the outer cube without subtracting the space had to be found. Next, the surface

area of the hole in the outer cube was found. Then, the final surface area of the outer cube could

be found. After that, the surface area of the inside cube was found. Finally, the total surface area

of the cube inside a cube could be found. After all of the daunting steps were completed, the

total surface area ended up being 108inches2.

Formula for the Volume of a Cube

Side( s)3=Volume

2

1.5

Symmetric Property of Equality

Figure 17. Solid Cube Volume

9.54=Volume

Volume=9.54 inches3

Filion 16

The figure above shows how the volume of the solid cube was found.

Finding the volume of the inner cube was manageable and easy, as long as a few simple

steps were followed. The volume formula had to be followed, and the math had to be done

correctly. The volume formula is usually length width height, but since a cube has

equal sides, it could be simplified to side3.

Formula for Volume of a Cube

(3 2) = Volume

Symmetric Property of Equality

76.36 = Volume

3

Volume = 76.36 inches

The figure above shows how to find the volume of the outer cube.

V

Inner Cube =Total Volume

V Outer Cube

66.82=Total Volume

3

Total Volume= 66.82inches

The figure above shows how to find the volume for the empty space of the cube.

Finding the volume of the empty space of the cube was very straightforward. The only necessary

step was to subtract the volume of the inner cube from the volume of the outer cube. As long as

the subtraction went smoothly, the total volume of the empty space should be correct. After

subtracting 9.54 from 76.36, the total volume of the empty space was uncovered (66.82inches3).

Over the course of this project, paper was folded and put together to make something

spectacular. A few math skills were utilized as well to find the volume and surface area of the

cube in a cube as if it were made perfectly. The first part; creating a cube in a cube, was

Filion 17

especially exciting and interesting. Folding the paper was a breeze, and putting it together

wasnt difficult at all. The pictures of the cube in a cube that explain how to assemble it are from

the original cube in a cube that was made. The picture on the title page is of the final cube in a

cube that was made. Another one was made because the first one did not fit together that nicely

and the second one looked much better.

The math was relatively straightforward, as long as the steps were thorough and

precise. The volume of the empty space in the cube in a cube ended up being 66.82inches3 and

the surface area ended up being 108inches2. That is the volume and surface area of a cube in a

cube as if it were made perfectly. However, the cube in a cube that was made is not perfect and 5

7/8-inch paper was used rather than the 6-inch paper that was supposed to be used, so the surface

area and volume of the cube in a cube that was made is slightly different than 108inches2 and

66.82inches3. Anyway, the key was to set aside enough time for each individual task. This paper

seemed less and less daunting as each task was completed individually. This project honed many

skills, including geometry and creativity skills.

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