Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

 

 
Paper Cubes
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of paper cubes, whether single-sheet or modular. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

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This print by the Japanese print-maker Nishikawa Sukenobu, which probably dates to around 1720 but can be no later than 1750 when he died, shows several folded paper objects, among which is a cube. Three faces of the cube are visible but only the top face is crossed by either folded edges or creases. This may be an inexact drawing of a Tematebako or a drawing of some other cube entirely, perhaps folded from a single sheet, which has otherwise disappeared from the historical record.

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The Tematebako - 1734 onwards

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The Playing Card Cube - 1837 onwards

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'El Plegado y Cartonaje en la Escuela Primaria' by Antonio M Luchia and Corina Luciani de Luchia, which was published by Editorial Kapelusz in Buenos Aires in 1940, contains instructions showing how to make a cube in four different ways, one of which is modular and the other three of which use cuts.

Construccion del Cubo (1) - Construction of a Cube in Two Parts

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Construccion del Cubo (2) - Construction of a Cube from a 4x4 Grid using Cuts

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Construccion del Cubo (3) - Construction of a Cube from a 3x4 Grid using Cuts

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Caja cubica - Cubic Box from a 5x5 Grid using Cuts

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