Monday, March 16, 2020

A STEM Project: A Paper Butterfly That Flutters When The Rubber Band Is Stretched

Rubber Band Butterfly

While I was researching the rubber band polygons from the previous postings, I discovered a few YouTube videos that made a similar butterfly model. I liked the rubber band mechanism but thought I could improve the design. I felt that their top wings were too small and the winding mechanism could be simplified.

I made four models with different wings. After you make a few of my butterfly models, I recommend designing your own wings to determine which type of wing flies the best.

Video of the paper butterfly fluttering when the rubber band is stretched and tossed into the air.

The rubber band has no power until the band is stretched. When the butterfly is released into the air, the stored energy in the rubber band causes the butterfly wings to flutter in a circular motion opposite to the direction that the rubber band was stretched. In other words, the rubber band unwinds to return to its normal state.

Video of the Rubber Band Mechanism Being Wound and Released 


Materials needed to make the rubber band butterflies:

  20 lb. copy paper or construction paper

-  Scotch Tape to adhere the wings to the winding mechanism

 2 1/2 inch x 1/16 inch rubber band

-  Scissors or an electronic paper cutter like a Silhouette or Cricut.

- 20 gauge craft wire

-wire cutters

-1/8 inch dowel

-cellophane (if you are cutting the model with holes in it)


If you are cutting the models with scissors, here is the PDF:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/150AL32bUHfzu8__XONHkh0e1LtHZoBjN/view?usp=sharing
If you are cutting the models with a Silhouette, here is the .Studio file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yRAlXk6A6YAcZFw58PLA_k6ZbWHESkib/view?usp=sharing
If you are cutting the models with a Cricut, here is the SVG:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GIg6PcuJHE_0xqD0yQrgwK9JXxJvN4Zg/view?usp=sharing

Cut the butterfly wings. Cut two pieces of 20 gauge wire that are 6 inches and 9 inches long.

Wrap the 9 inch wire around a 1/8 inch dowel as shown above to form a circle. 

Another view of the wire.

Make another circle by wrapping the wire around the dowel.  Look at the photo above for placement of the circle. The entire mechanism needs to be 2 inches long.

Make a figure 8 with the 2 1/2 inch rubber band.

Fold the rubber band in half.

Slide the rubber band onto the wire until it resides inside the circle.

Twist the ends of the wire together. 

Cut the excess wire off.

Bend the opposite circle, without the rubber band, at a right angle.

Fold the 6 inch piece of wire in half and put a twist in the wire as shown above on the right. The loop created should be 3/8 inch long.

Slide the rubber band onto the 6 inch wire. This will create the crossbar wire.

Squeeze the 6 inch wire together and thread this wire through the center of top circle.  Bend this 6 inch crossbar wire so that it is at a right angle to the rubber band.

Close up of the rubber band mechanism.

Wind the rubber band about 35 times to test the winding mechanism.  The crossbar wire should move freely.  

Cut a piece of tape, adhere it to one side the bottom wing. Cut off any excess tape.  Please note: too much tape adds weight to the model.

Wrap the tape around the wire.

Adhere the tape to the back side of the wing.

Repeat taping the other bottom wing to the winding mechanism.

Cut a piece of tape, adhere it to the bottom side the top wing. Cut off any excess tape. 

Wrap the tape around the crossbar wire as shown above and adhere the tape to the back side of the top wing.  Notice that there is a little wire showing.  

Cut this excess wire off.

Repeat taping and adhering the other top wing to the crossbar wire. 

Completed Rubber Band Butterfly

This butterfly model has cellophane glued over the holes.  The holes need to be covered for aerodynamics.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A STEM Project: Rubber Band Polyhedron Pop-ups - Pyramids

Rubber Band Polyhedron Pop-ups - Pyramids

Rubber Band Pop-Up Pyramids in Action

Rubber band pop-up polyhedrons are intriguing. They are the intersection of mathematics and physics.  The process of compressing the figure stores energy in the rubber band inside the figure. When the collapsed two dimensional shape is allowed to be transformed back into a polyhedron, the stored energy makes the figure pop-up. These pop-ups are a fun way to explore mathematics and physics together.

This is the third blog post for rubber band polyhedron pop-ups.  The first post had nine models of bifrustums and bicupolas.  https://papercraftetc.blogspot.com/2020/02/a-stem-project-rubber-band-polyhedron.html The second blog post had eight models of prisms.  https://papercraftetc.blogspot.com/2020/02/a-stem-project-rubber-band-polyhedron_19.html This blog post has ten models of pyramids.

Pyramids are shapes with sides that are triangles which meet at the top called the apex with a base which is a polygon.  Bipyramids are shapes consisting of two identical pyramids base to base.


Materials needed to make the pop-ups:

  65 lb. card stock which can be found at your local craft store in a variety of colors.

-  Aleene's Tacky Glue.  I recommend this glue as it is a quick drying glue which does not warp the paper when used sparingly. I fill a quilling bottle with this glue to get an extra fine point. This is not necessary for this model but I thought I should mention it. If you look at my photos, you will see the extra fine dots of glue.

 Glue Dots.  I used 3/8 in. Glue Dots rolled into a ball and attached to the tail of the rubber band so that the rubber band does not slip out of the hole with repeated opening and closing of the model.

-  Scotch Tape to anchor the rubber band with the Glue Dot down to the tab.

 1/16 inch rubber bands.  Please note that different rubber bands may have different tensions.  The length that I am giving for each model is just a guide. When making knots in the rubber band, don't pull the knots too tight because the knot acts like a stopper in the hole.

-  Scissors or an electronic paper cutter like a Silhouette or Cricut.


If you are cutting the models with scissors, here is the PDF:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HEF02xtXosVQf36YpWeA80S0iho5kZRE/view?usp=sharing

If you are cutting the models with a Silhouette, here is the .Studio file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C6Cl1mzLRFpYmFIzPtjBjNo_ROIqQoOA/view?usp=sharing

If you are cutting the models with a Cricut, here is the SVG:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZdDEhc_EhzZPf46XLnjCrvGp5qfbCdlg/view?usp=sharing



1. Triangular Pyramid (Tetrahedron)

Faces4 triangles
Edges6
Vertices4


Triangular Pyramid

Cut out the triangular pyramid model and bend the tabs as shown in the photo above.

Glue the circle tabs together. Cut and knot a 1.6 inch rubber band. Slide this rubber band onto the circle tab. Add a Glue Dot to the tail of the rubber band.  Cover the Glue Dot and tail with Scotch tape.  Apply glue to the remaining two tabs.

Collapse the figure to make sure the glue adheres correctly.

Slide the rubber band onto the circle tab. Add a Glue Dot to the tail of the rubber band.  Cover the Glue Dot and tail with Scotch tape.

Open and close the model a few times and bend the sides inward and outward to align the model. Completed Triangular Pyramid.


2. Triangular Bipyramid (Hexahedron)

Faces6 triangles
Edges9
Vertices5


Triangular Bipyramid

The instructions to make the Triangular Bipyramid are similar to the the Triangular Pyramid instructions. Use a 0.75 inch rubber band.


3. Regular Pyramid

Faces4 triangles, 1 square
Edges8
Vertices5


Regular Pyramid

Cut out the triangular pyramid model and bend the tabs as shown in the photo above.

Glue the circle tabs together to form two triangles.

Glue one to the tab and adhere it to the other triangle.

Cut and knot a 1.5 inch rubber band. Slide this rubber band onto the circle tab. Add a Glue Dot to the tail of the rubber band.  Cover the Glue Dot and tail with Scotch tape. 

Slide the rubber band onto the other circle tab. Add a Glue Dot to the tail of the rubber band.  Cover the Glue Dot and tail with Scotch tape. 

Apply glue to the remaining tab.

Adhere the tab by collapsing the figure. 

Completed Regular Pyramid


4. Octahedron

Faces8 triangles
Edges12
Vertices6


Octahedron

The instructions to make the Octahedron are similar to the the Triangular Pyramid instructions. 
Use a 1.75 inch rubber band.

5. Pentagonal Pyramid

Faces5 triangles, 1 pentagon
Edges10
Vertices6


Pentagonal Pyramid

Cut out the pentagonal pyramid model and bend the tabs as shown in the photo above.

Apply glue to the tab as shown above. Knot a rubber band on one side only.  Lay it on the seam.  Adhere the tab to enclose the rubber band.

Thread the rubber band through the pentagon.

Pull the rubber band for a snug fit and make a knot.  Do not cut the rubber band yet.

Apply glue to the one tab and adhere it inside the pentagon.

Apply glue to the other tab and adhere it inside the pentagon.

Compress the figure and make sure that the model pop-ups up correctly.  Adjust the rubber band if needed. To open and close the figure, pull the bottom rubber band outward.

Completed Pentagonal Pyramid

6. Pentagonal Bipyramid

Faces10 triangles
Edges15
Vertices7


Two views of a Pentagonal Bipyramid 
The instructions to make the Pentagonal Bipyramid are similar to the the Triangular Pyramid instructions. Use a 2 inch rubber band.

7. Hexagonal Pyramid

Faces6 triangles, 1 hexagon
Edges12
Vertices7


Hexagonal Pyramid 

Cut out the hexagonal pyramid model and bend the tabs as shown in the photo above.

Glue the circle tabs together. Cut and knot a 1.25 inch rubber band. Slide this rubber band onto the circle tab. Add a Glue Dot to the tail of the rubber band.  Cover the Glue Dot and tail with Scotch tape.  Apply glue to the other circle tabs.

Slide the rubber band onto the other circle tab. Add a Glue Dot to the tail of the rubber band.  Cover the Glue Dot and tail with Scotch tape. 

Apply glue to the hexagonal base tab. Adhere as shown above.

Apply glue to the other hexagonal base tab and collapse the figure so that the glue adheres.

Completed Hexagonal Pyramid

8. Hexagonal Bipyramid

Faces12 triangles
Edges18
Vertices8


Hexagonal Bipyramid

Cut out the hexagonal bipyramid model and bend the tabs as shown in the photo above.

Glue the circle tabs together. Cut and knot two 1.25 inch rubber bands. Slide this rubber band onto each circle tab. Add a Glue Dot to the tail of the rubber bands.  Cover the Glue Dot and tail with Scotch tape.  

Glue and adhere one of the tabs to the inside of the pyramid. Apply glue to the other tab as shown.

Collapse the figure and adhere the second tab.

Completed Hexagonal Bipyramid


9. Decagon Pyramid

Faces10 triangles, 1 decagon
Edges20
Vertices11


Decagon Pyramid

Cut out the decagon pyramid model and bend the tabs as shown in the photo above.

Apply glue to the tab as shown above. Knot a rubber band on one side only.  Lay it on the seam.  Adhere the tab to enclose the rubber band.

Cut and knot a 2.25 inch rubber band. Slide this rubber band onto the circle tab. Add a Glue Dot to the tail of the rubber band.  Cover the Glue Dot and tail with Scotch tape. Repeat for the other end of the rubber band.

Thread the center rubber band through the hole in the decagon. Apply glue to one of the tabs and adhere to the decagon base. Knot the center rubber band so that it is snug. Do not cut the tail of the rubber band.

Apply glue on the second tab.

Collapse the figure and adhere the second tab.


Open and close the figure by tugging on the knot.  Make sure that it opens and closes correctly.  Cut the tail of the rubber band.

Completed Decagon Pyramid


10. Decagon Bipyramid

Faces20 triangles
Edges30
Vertices12


Decagon Bipyramid

Cut out the decagon pyramid model and bend the tabs as shown in the photo above.

Apply glue to the circle tab and adhere. Knot a rubber band on one side only.  Lay it on the seam.  Adhere the second circle tab to enclose the rubber band. Thread the center rubber band through the center of the other decagon but do not knot the end.

Cut and knot two 2.25 inch rubber bands. Slide a rubber band onto the circle tab. Add a Glue Dot to the tail of the rubber band.  Cover the Glue Dot and tail with Scotch tape. Repeat to attach all of the rubber bands.


Attach the decagons together by gluing the tab on one side and adhering to the inside of the decagon. Glue the second tab.

Collapse the figure to make sure that the tabs adhere correctly.  Knot the rubber band. Open and close the figure a few times by tugging on the tails. Cut the tail of the rubber band.

 Completed Decagon Bipyramid