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Download Elephant Zine

It's been a while since I produced a zine, time to set that straight!

I'm pleased to present Elephant: Mechanical Solutions to Everyday Problems a fun zine based around the theme of gears. Members can download and print out the file now - non-members will be able to download the file and join in the fun next week. If you can't wait you can become a member here.

Once you have the file downloaded, print it out onto normal printer paper. Make sure you set your printer to "Landscape" and "Scale to Fit"
There's an Instagram video showing how to fold up the Zine here. Belt and braces, there are instructions below.

This is how the finished page will be folded. Solid lines are cut lines, dotted lines are valley folds and dashed lines are hill folds. Notice the cut line across two panels in the centre of the sheet.

Use a sharp knife or a pair of scissors to cut off the excess from round the edge of the sheet.

Fold the sheet in half as accurately as possible.

Open up and fold the sheet in half the other way.

Open out the paper again then fold the ends into the centre. This will mark out the eight panels with creases.

Open out the sheet one last time then cut the centre line between the two vertical creases.

Fold the sheet in half then fold it up making this cross shape.

Fold it flat to make an eight page booklet.

Ta daa!

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Two more models to download from the Brother website. These two are new improved updates of paper projects that have previously appeared on They are available for free for everyone to download and make. I hope that you enjoy them!

The pop-up elephant comes in a mother and baby pack. Fold them flat, when they are released they pop up powered by the elastic band inside the linked boxes!

The poseable T.Rex is a great addition to any desk. Free to download at the Brother International website. Have fun!

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Thu 21st Nov 2013

Michael42er has created and entire herd of paper elephants using some of the patterned paper from this site. Check out the video below to see them in action. Nice work Michael!


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* Thanks to everyone who offered a home. The Polka-dot Flexiphant is going to live with emailer maxlrainer. Look out for another giveaway soon! *

This unique polka-dot flexi-phant is looking for a home. Can you help? If you think you could provide a good place for her to live and you are a paid member, leave a comment below or drop me an email. At the end of next week I'll draw a name from the hat and post the flexiphant to her new home. Thanks for your help!

Polka-Dot Elephant is based on the original Flexiphant model with her own special colour scheme. I'll sign the model before posting and will ship it for free to whereever the winner lives

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Sun 13th Oct 2013

Check out these two new videos, both based on the Flex-trunk Elephant. Website regular, Mr Cool has made this flying elephant project by combining the Elephant with the Leaping Goat project, a free download from the Canon website. Nice work Scott!

Meanwhile, Michael42er has made this impressive modification to the elephant model allowing the trunk to operate by rocking the elephant back and forth. Fantastic!

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Download Flexiphant
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Download and make the fabulous Flex-Trunk Elephant! Print out the parts pages on your own printer and follow the instructions below to make the model. Pull the tail and the trunk lifts up. Fun!


The Flex-Trunk elephant should be printed onto three sheets of thin card (230 micron/67lb.) Note that the final sheet is printed on both side. Print out the front, flip the card over and return it to the printer before printing the back. Once the ink is completely dry, score along all the dotted and dashed lines before carefully cutting out all the parts.

Roll up and glue all four legs. Notice that the toes are matched pairs. Glue together each pair of legs making sure that they are lined up accurately.

Glue the trunk holder to the back of the head so that it is between the two small black lines.

Roll over the flap in the hole in the back of the head and glue it down.

Glue together the head as shown.

Glue one of the long body tabs to the back of the head so that it lines up with the edge and bottom of the head as shown.

Roll round the body and glue down the remaining body tabs.

Fold up and glue together the tail slide.

Glue the tail slide to the inside back of the body. line it up between the two small black dots on the outside of the body.

Glue the centre tab of the back to the end of the tail slide.

Fit the back of the elephant into place.

Glue together the four sections of the trunk as shown. Make sure that they are in the same order as they appear on the page.

Starting at one end of the trunk, roll round and make each trunk section. Starting with the tab with the grey end, roll it round and glue it down to the grey area on the opposite side lining it up with the small black arrow heads.

Roll the other side round and glue it down lining the grey line with the diagonal centre piece as shown.

Work your way down the trunk, gluing each section in the same way...

...until the trunk is complete.

Glue together the three sections of tendon/tail with the shortest section in the middle. Thread the square end right the way through one side of the trunk and glue it to the inside surface of the very last section of the trunk.

Thread the tail all the way through the trunk holder, the hole in the back of the head and out through the tail slide.

Glue on the ears and tusks as shown.

Complete the model by gluing the legs into the body.

Pull the tail to raise the trunk!

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Sat 5th Oct 2013

I've made a few changes to the elephant parts and laid the corrected parts out. Printed out and ready for assembly in the morning.

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All the parts laid out and put together for the flex-trunk elephant.

Pull the tail and the trunk raises.

Small slot at the back through which the tail runs.

In the view from the underside you can see where the tail runs through the body and connects to the trunk tendon.

Here's a Vine animation of the assembled prototype. Standing, as it happens, on my copy of Origin of Species.

Colour next. I'm going with pink. Darwin would be proud.

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I'm starting with a revised elephant trunk profile which I want to transform into a flexible, tendon driven, trunk as per previous posts.

I used the frustrum generator for the previous post to calculate the curve of each of the sections of the trunk.

Here is the whole thing printed out and assembled

Pull the tendon to flex the trunk.

Looking good, though I say so myself!

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Thu 26th Sep 2013

I knew this mechanism would be useful. First the snake by Mr Cool, now an elephant trunk. Whatever next!

This is a rough prototype - a sort of proof of concept elephant head. Pull the tendon and the trunk raises. RumpetaRumpeta!

Perhaps a fairly simple elephant. Pull the tail to raise the truck. I think that would be a charming little project.

I'll need to have a look at starting the trunk wider and tapering it, perhaps making each section a truncated cone. (For all you geometry geeks out there, the proper mathematical name for a truncated cone is a frustrum

Plan: finish off robot, make elephant, drink coffee.

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