Foldable Cube - Print Flat

by DesignMakeTeach, published

Foldable Cube - Print Flat by DesignMakeTeach Apr 17, 2013

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30mm Foldable Cube that is printed flat and then folded into shape. Prints fast and all the sides of the cube are smooth. Can be used to explore the properties of a platonic solid or can make an LED light.

UPDATE: K12 Lesson ideas for this thing can be found at http://designmaketeach.com/2013/05/01/lesson-idea-the-3d-printed-foldable-cube/


30mm Foldable Cube that is printed flat and then folded into shape. Must be glued or taped to create a permanent cube. Use rubber bands to hold design together while glue is drying. Can be printed with or without infill. Examples were printed with PLA.

The initial design consideration was to create a cube that had a smooth texture on all sides with accurate dimensions. Cubes printed as a single object on a hobby FDM printer can have a smooth bottom, layered sides and textured top. The foldable design ensures consistent, flat faces. An additional advantage is that the cube can be stored/transported flat then assembled later saving space.

Students can use the Foldable Cube to explore the construction of a platonic solid. The Foldable Cube can be placed over a light source or an LED can be added to make a small cube light. Crude example of LED bulb taped to CR2032 battery is shown.

Would like to increase the number of times the sides can be folded before it breaks. Current thickness of the folded edges are 0.2mm.

Note for Printing on a Makerbot Replicator 2: The print must be oriented (rotated) on the build platform so the infill lines are as perpendicular as possible to the folds. If the infill lines are parallel to the folds the folds will crack. In an earlier version of Makerware the print could be rotated to the optimal 45 degree angle to create a hinges from the threads of plastic. New version of Makerware will cause the infill to run parallel to the folds at 45 degrees. We've had success rotating the print to approximately 30 degrees.

Slic3r users have reported success with a concentric fill pattern.

Original design created by DesignMakeTeach.com using FreeCAD.

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In the stl-file itself there is no material defined to connect the squares to each other.
As a workaround I added in the CAD-CAM-Software Cura an outline of 3 lines beginning at distance zero.

How about a version that has snap-in hinges build through small ball-joints?
something like this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5545

Yazzo UClip Hinged

There is a 0.2mm skin on the model that connects the squares. You can zoom in on the Thingiview and see that everything is connected properly.

If it is not printing for you, then it may be that you have set a layer height in your slicer that is higher than 0.2mm.

I would enjoy trying your snap-in hinge model.

OK I understand. So I suggest you should add some words about how to print the 0,2mm hinge in the instructions.

In the meantime I found this thing

That's exactly what I meant with snap hinge. I'm not familiar with OpenSCAD or any other CAD-sofwtare to such things

Hi, I'm using Rhino and cannot seem to make holes in any of the surfaces! Can anyone help?

="thingiverse-11bf348a0e5160090e0222078804f4a3:disqus" href="http://disqus.com/thingiverse-11bf348a0e5160090e0222078804f4a3/hwiguna Take a look at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:185859http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...
I think that is a pretty cool design. Possible to either add solid sides to her design or possible add a dimple latch to mine.

Polyhedra - Hinged Nets and Snap Tiles

This is very clever! I wonder if it is possible to design latches on the inside surfaces so the box snaps into itself?!

Found that when printing this with MakerWare on a Makerbot that the folds are stronger if model is rotated 45 degrees on the build plate.

I would be interested in hearing how well other materials such as ABS or Nylon fold.

I have designed and printed a tetrahedron but need to fix a hole in the .stl and settle on the final scale. I want to be sure an LED throwie will fit inside. I have a page full of ideas using the foldable concept and will be slowly working on them between other instructional projects.

I plan on writing some lesson ideas for using the Foldable Cube in the classroom. I'll post an update when the article is up on the http://designmaketeach.comdesignmaketeach.com blog.

Are you going to do the rest of the platonic solids too?