Edit |*** I’ve added a downloadable file for paid members to who would like to try out the zip for themselves. The file has a section of curved zip and a straight section. Just a little bit to keep you going. Click the Add to Cart link to download the file. ***|

You may have spotted a picture in my on Instagram stream of a squirrel I’m working on for a client. The design brief is for a simple to make squirrel which needs no glue to assemble. The client will be printing and die-cutting the final design so there is no problem with complex cutting out.

Making the parts slot together so that they are robust but easy to assemble has been an interesting challenge. I’ve been trying out all sorts of different ideas with varying degrees of success. Last night, just as I was about to fall asleep, I hit upon an idea. I should have got up at that point and sketched it out but instead I lay in bed working out details and modifying the design in my head. It was gone two thirty in the morning before I finally got to sleep only to have to rise again at six. Luckily I have good coffee to hand.
The idea is fairly simple. I’m using a series of
diamond shaped tabs just like those on the back of a stegosaurus.

Here’s a sample of one of the layouts created in Illustrator…

…printed out, the parts fit together easily yet hold together firmly without the use of glue.

Ta daa! On the inside of the joint it looks just like a stegosaurus back, from the outside the joint is smooth.

To double check that everything worked properly I put together this glue-less rabbit. The paper zip works a treat. Just need to improve the legs and feet on the rabbit and I’ll put the design on the site as a download.

First though, I need to fit a stegosaurus zip to a squirrel.