Turning cardboard into metal

I don’t know about you but when somebody talks about making things out of cardboard, I always just imagined various size boxes or something like this:



But as it turns out, you can make some pretty elegant stuff, provided you have the right tools, a bit of knowhow and a lot of patience.

The helmet you can find from a template with this PDF: WAMArmorActivity

The arm was cobbled together with a ton of trial and error. Making sliding joints that are connected to each other is tough. Like seriously tough. Why would I spend so much time on something like this? Well, there’s one selfish reason and one not quite as selfish reason

  1. Cardboard is everywhere. Being able to make models and prototype ideas with cardboard is about as low cost as it gets.  All schools have access to cardboard. It is important to make students work with basic materials before getting to use things like 3D printers and more. They might not truly need 3D printers, laser cutters and the like. And being able to turn cardboard into something whimsical is crucial for letting kids explore their creativity.
  2. I really wanted to build some Dr. Doom armor and had to check joint articulations in cardboard before going to 16g steel. See how it turned out *here*

All in all, it turned out really well. You can see my post about Kardboard Kingdom in which we sought to bring the fun of cardboard and creating to over 7,700 people in Richmond. Talk about fulfilling on that first point.

Bonus! It made me a friend with a student who wants to build foam armor, together we’ve been able to work on some pretty stellar stuff.

Update: Looks like cardboard armor is becoming more popular. Even Adam Savage created a helmet! (Probably because of me, right?? Adam??)



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