Tag Archives: Pepakura

Fabricating a Parametric Model with Pepakura

For this project I helped my friend Ben Ortega, a MARC student at UNM, build a model he developed with Grasshopper and Millipede. I used Pepakura to design the unfolded parts and lay them out. He and I then built the model using the paper parts and some tacky glue.

Here is the model next to the unfolded parts in Pepakura.

Parametric Pepakura unfold

Here are some photos of us building the model. In some of the photos you can see a smaller 3D printed model we were using for reference.

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Here is a flyover of the finished model.

Building a Giant 3D Moustache – Part 3

For the final build I unfolded the full-size paper model and traced it on the foam core. I used push-pins to mark the vertices and then drew lines from point to point.


I used a 45° foam cutter and tried to get as close to the paper on the other side as I could. That way I would be able to make the folds easily with out too much resistance. I cut the outline with a regular Exacto after I made all the 45° cuts.


At this point I stopped taking photos because I was stressing to get the model finished. The Moustachio Bashio was that night. The folding worked pretty well with the 45s taken out. It could have been better though. I did meet some resistance which meant I had to be creative to get the final model stay together without deforming. Using spray adhesive and the brown wrapping paper that the foam came in, I bonded the open faces together.

This was harder than I expected, and because I was rushing turned out to be a little sloppier than I would have liked. The form was still pretty fragile and would not hold its shape well so I threaded a needle and sewed supporting strings into the back. This worked really well. I only needed 5 reinforcing tethers. At this point I was backstage at the venue and the first DJ was warming up so I just used white Gaff tape to attach the model to the back face. Luckily you couldn’t tell once it was hung. We had already done a placement test and calibrated the projector earlier that week. Once I finished the model I hung it right up with two chains that hooked into eyelets bolted into the plywood backing. Boy did being finished feel amazing. I came super close to having nothing to show for all my efforts.

20130421-030809.jpgFinally Done!


20130421-033045.jpgThis is from the placement test the week before. Our host Danger is obviously having fun.