The Yoshimoto Cube

So, this project isn’t strictly about space, unless you consider the broader meaning of the term that includes geometry. I found out about the Yoshimoto cube back in January ’18, and immediately became obsessed with them. Because, let’s be real for a second, who DOESN’T love shapes that tessellate? Specifically, the Yoshimoto cube is two stellated rhombic dodecahedra that fit together into a cube. Honestly, it’s a lot easier to just show you how awesome they are.

Ok, so instead of just buying one made of already working parts (what’s the fun in that?), I decided I would make one out of paper and scotch tape. As you can see in the video and pictures, it definitely leaves something to be desired visually- but hey, it was my first attempt. There are several tutorials online that I’ve seen, often with different patterns for making them. I used the pattern from Math Munch. I’m not sure if theirs was the easiest to use, but I like that it was all in one piece. It seems efficient, I like that about it. Their instructions and tutorial video were not quite enough to get the methodology, but I did email them to ask a couple questions and got a very helpful response. Here’s what the pattern looks like all cut out.

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This first version I made out of scratch paper (and it was paper the tape didn’t stick to very well too, unfortunately), so I plan to use cardstock for the next round. This should be much sturdier, and if I add some tabs to the pattern I can glue it together instead of using tape. Here are some pictures of the folding process.

I had a pretty hard time figuring out how to fold and tape it all together. When I took these photos, I 100% sincerely believe that I thought (at the time) they would make the steps clear to myself next time I went to do it. Looking at them now, several months later, I’m not sure if that is the case. When I get around to making the next one, I will definitely write down step-by-step instructions to accompany them! Here are a couple of videos of the finished cube.

I have grand plans for this little shape for D&D. Part of the reason I wanted it all on one sheet is that I can use my robot to draw patterns on the cube and cut it out for me. I’m still formulating plans for this (and I can’t divulge them here until my players have seen it in the actual game) but just use your imagination to think about all of the possible puzzle opportunities for this cube! Patterns to describe directions for how to open a door, the way through a labyrinth, or the key to a secret code, or it can be folded to achieve transportation between rooms or worlds depending on the shape- the possibilities are endless! I’m SO excited for this, and disappointed I haven’t had time to finish developing it. But stay tuned friends- to be continued!