BreakThroughColour

'LEAP' DAY 18: HOW TO BUILD A COLOUR CUBE, PART 1

LEAP!Tracy Holmes2 Comments

Want to hold colour in the palm of your hand? Here's the How To for turning a handful of Colour Basics Cube Cards into a handy 3-dimensional Colour Cube . . .

 
 

COLOUR IS 3-DIMENSIONAL

In the past several 'Leap' lessons, we've talked a lot about colour geometry, how each Corner Colour connects with every other Corner Colour: in straight lines along 12 edges; diagonal lines criss-crossing 6 sides; and even triagonal lines, taking the shortest distance between the furthest points connecting each of the 8 corners with its opposite by going right through the core.

Colour is 3-dimensional. If we are to truly understand how each colour connects to every other colour (not just in the corners, but in the whole spectrum) we need a 3D model to give each colour its own unique place in the colour space.

BREAKTHROUGHCOLOUR IS 3-DIMENSIONAL

The Colour Basics deck comes with 6 Cube Cards, flat playing cards that have been designed to be folded and connected together into a 3-dimensional Colour Basics Colour Cube.

6 Colour Cube Cards

6 Colour Cube Cards

6-sided Colour Cube

6-sided Colour Cube

Each Colour Basics Cube Card has a grid of 9 colour squares, 3 rows and 3 columns of three-in-a-row colour flows. Each of the edges of every grid matches up with an identical edge on another card. One edge in each pair is bordered by a flap and the other isn't, so that each matching pair can be soundly connected (i.e. no edge that's 'double-flapped' and no edge that can't be connected at all). The cards are numbered to suggest a sequence for your build, and this How To will follow that sequence, but really, the sequence doesn't matter. As long as you match each edge with its identical edge, you will end up with a Cube.

CUBE NETS

This How To also shows the 6 Cube Cards arranged and attached in a 2-dimensional net. What is a 'net'? Borrowing from Wikipedia:

In geometry, the net of a 3-dimensional solid is an arrangement of edge-joined 2-dimensional shapes in a single plane which can be folded (along edges) to become the faces of the 3-dimensional solid. Nets are a useful aid to the study of solid geometry, as they allow for physical models of 3D solids to be constructed from material such as thin cardboard.

...or playing cards. When the 1/2 inch flaps at the top and bottom of each Cube Card are scored and folded, the grid becomes a perfect square, and all 6 can be assembled together as the 6 sides of a cube.  

The are 11 different nets that will fold into a cube:

This How To will follow one particular net, but really, the net doesn't matter. As long as you match each edge with its identical edge, you will end up with a Cube.

HOW TO BUILD A COLOUR CUBE

Here's what you'll need to build your Colour Basics Colour Cube:

  • 6 Cube Cards
  • double-stick tape (Scotch brand is recommended)
  • a metal ruler
  • a ball stylus
  • an X-acto or craft knife with #11 blade
  • a self-healing cutting mat

1. SCORE THE FOLD LINES

Each card is marked with fine lines to show where the card gets folded to create the 2 flaps. Place the card on the cutting mat and use the ruler and the ball stylus to score the fold lines.

scoring the fold line

scoring the fold line

Take your time to make sure the scoring is straight. These folds will be the edges of your Cube and the more precise they are, the easier it will be to connect all 12 edges in your 3D form.

scored fold line (front)

scored fold line (front)

scored fold line (back)

scored fold line (back)

2. FOLD THE FLAPS

Fold both flaps on each of the 6 cards to define the 12 edges of your Cube.

making the first fold

making the first fold

3. APPLY THE TAPE

Apply double-stick tape to each of the flaps, lining the edge of the tape up close to the fold line, but not beyond it.

applying the double-stick tape

applying the double-stick tape

tape in position

tape in position

4. TRIM THE TAPE

When the tape is in place, turn the card over and trim away the excess tape with your craft knife. You can use the edge of the card as a cutting guide.

trimming the excess tape

trimming the excess tape

Once you have all the fold lines scored and folded, and the flaps all have their adhesive, you're ready to start the build.

5. CONNECT THE EDGES

Choose a flap to begin your connections and find the card that has the same three-in-a-row colours. Line the second card's edge over the flap of the first card and press to adhere the cards together.

making the first edge connection

making the first edge connection

Find the next card in the sequence, based on matching the colours along the second flap edge with the same colours on the edge of the third card. Press to adhere the connection.

making the second edge connection

making the second edge connection

Continue this process, connecting flaps to matching edges, until you have all 6 Cube Cards connected into a single net.

all 6 Cube Cards connected in a net

all 6 Cube Cards connected in a net

Again, your net may not look exactly like this one. As long as you match each edge with its identical edge, you will end up with a Cube.

6. MAKE THE CORNERs

Looking at the net above, you can see that 5 of the 12 edges are now connected In fact, no matter which net you use, there will be 5 connected edges. For all the remaining edges to connect together, we have to start folding our flat net into a 3-dimensional solid. Connecting these adjacent edges will give us our 8 corners.

making the first corner connection

making the first corner connection

You can also build the Cube into corners along the way. Either way works. 

7. closing the cube

The last connections can be a little tricky, since you will now be closing the Cube and won't be able to apply the same bonding pressure to the final edges. Just do your best to make sure the taped flaps make contact with the backs of the connecting cards.

closing the Cube

closing the Cube

8. YOUR CUBE IS COMPLETE

Once all the edges have been matched and connected, you will have a completed Colour Cube.

completed Colour Basics Colour Cube

completed Colour Basics Colour Cube

BUILDING A BTC MINI COLOUR CUBE

If you have the full deck of Cube Cards that complement the bigger BreakThroughColour deck of Colour Cards, you can use these same guidelines to build the Mini Cube. 

BTC Mini Cube, and Colour Basics Colour Cube

BTC Mini Cube, and Colour Basics Colour Cube

BUILDING THE 8-PART BREAKTHROUGHCOLOUR COLOUR CUBE

The BTC Mini Cube is a scaled-down version of the 3-dimensional model that gives each Corner Colour its own 3 x 3 x 3 Colour Cube. All 8 Corner Colour Cubes connect together into a single 8-part BreakThroughColour Colour Cube.

deck of Cube Cards

deck of Cube Cards

the Cyan Cube Cards attached in a net

the Cyan Cube Cards attached in a net

the completed Cyan Corner Cube

the completed Cyan Corner Cube

all 8 Colour Corner Cubes forming the bigger BreakThroughColour Colour Cube

all 8 Colour Corner Cubes forming the bigger BreakThroughColour Colour Cube

ADDING MAGNETS TO YOUR COLOUR CUBE

These Cubes are all built the same way as the Colour Basics Colour Cube and the BTC Mini Cube, with 8 different sets of 6 numbered cards connecting together to make 8 different 6-sided Cubes, one for each of the 8 Corner Colour families: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Red, Green, BlueWhite, and Black. The Corner Colour Cubes stack together like building blocks into the 8-part bigger BreakThroughColour Colour Cube, but if you want to add some structural integrity to your model and be able to keep it together as a unit, you can incorporate magnets into the build.

To learn more about pairing your BTC Cube Cards for proper magnet placement and polarity, check out 'LEAP' DAY 28: HOW TO BUILD A COLOUR CUBE, PART 2.

COLOUR LAB

More about Nets... It's actually pretty cool how a flat configuration of shapes can be folded into something 3-dimensional. If you like pop-up books, similar principles apply. If you're not familiar with nets and how they work, check out this interactive webpage from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. You can see them go from flat to form, and give yourself a little pop quiz: is it a net or not?

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