Fig. A: Stack together 8 identical blocks to form a
cube. Fig. B: Tape the blocks together as indicated to
form the hinges. Use clear tape (black tape was used
here to make it easier to see where the tape goes).
2. Carefully tape the blocks together as indicated
in Figure B. The clear packing tape is nearly invisible,
so I’ve used black duct tape to clearly show which 2
blocks to tape together to make each all-important
hinge. Your packing tape should cover the whole joint
between blocks, unlike my duct tape here.
2a. Tape a hinge connecting 2 bottom blocks to
make the front face of the magic photo cube. Tape
a hinge on the back face connecting its bottom 2
blocks the same way. The front and back faces of
the magic photo cube should be identical.
2b. Tape 2 hinges connecting the top and bottom
blocks to make the left face of the magic photo
cube. Tape 2 hinges on the right face connecting
the top and bottom blocks the same way. The left
and right faces should be identical.
2c. Tape 2 hinges connecting the front and back
blocks to make the top face. There are no hinges on
the bottom face.
Do the math. There are 8 cubic blocks in the magic
photo cube and each has 6 faces, totaling 48 faces.
The full magic photo cube has 6 faces, each made of
4 faces from the cubic blocks. So, the full photo cube
shows 24 of the possible 48 cubic block faces.
When you completely turn the magic photo cube
inside out, the other 24 cubic block faces are visible
on the 6 new magic photo cube faces. The surfaces
of the intermediate orientations combine the 48
cubic block faces in different ways.
1. Stack the 8 cubic wooden blocks into a larger
cube; 4 for the base and 4 on top (Figure A). Keep
them nice and tight.
5. Only after manipulating the magic photo cube
and thinking about your prize pictures are you ready
to measure, print, and apply the pictures.
Cut each picture into the required number of
little wooden squares for the selected surface. If the
blocks aren’t perfect, measure each cut.
6. Apply the pictures to one surface of the magic
photo cube at a time using a good glue stick.
7. Adjust the picture portions to allow a smidgen of
room for the hinges to bend in each direction.
3. Rub the tape on each individual cubic wooden
block with the bone. Carefully open the magic photo
cube and reinforce the backside of each hinge with
another strip of clear packing tape.
TIP: Glue can really mess up your pictures.
Watch their edges, as they tend to shave off
bits of glue that stick to something later.
Video showing a real Yoshimoto Cube in action:
4. Now you’ve got to play with this thing. There
are 6 faces on the magic photo cube, and after
manipulating it you’ll discover you can turn it inside
out showing 6 totally new faces. Along the way you’ll
discover other orientations of different dimensions.
Ken Wade is a volunteer engineer and project manager serving
kids and families at risk in Southeast Asia. He’s married and
has three children; two are in college in the United States.