Rhombic Dodecahedron Pattern for a Craft Challenge

rhombic-dodecahedronI just made a rhombic dodecahedron calendar for 2017 on Bristol board last night, otherwise known as a dodecalendar. It’s shown in the photo at right and spinning in the video below. I made it from scratch, meaning I made the files to print out the sides and assembled, fitting two sides on a letter sized sheet. I will compact the files into one PDF tomorrow and share, but in the meanwhile, I thought people who were interested might want to make rhombic dodecahedrons of whatever. Perhaps a die. Perhaps art on each side. Perhaps something personal for them.

The PDF link below is of a letter sized page with two sides of a rhombic dodecahedron on it. There are also instructions for printing and cutting.

Blank Rhombic Dodecahedron Pattern PDF


rhombic-dodecahedron-greenIn terms of what fits to what, identify the acute angles (less than 90 degrees) and obtuse angles (greater than 90 degrees) in your rhombus. There are two of each on opposing corners. Now refer to picture at left to help make sense of the next paragraph.

When joining rhombuses, make sure similar angles are together. So if you were line up two rhombuses, put them together so that the corners with acute angles come to the same point. By default, the corners with obtuse angles will come together at the other point. That will leave you with vertices of four edges and sides with acute angles, or three edges and sides with obtuse angles. Unlike a cube, there are two different types of vertices on these rhombic dodecahedrons.

Don’t try to match the flaps because they won’t perfectly match, but that’s no problem. They’re on the inside and won’t interfere with assembly. It’s hard to get the printout just right, and imperfections in manual assembly means they won’t match perfectly anyway. They’re close, though.

For assembly, I find white paper glue works best. They stick well and gives you a little time to set things right before pressing for a few minutes to try. I assembled one edge together at a time, spreading the white glue evenly right up to all edges of the flap with my pinkie (baby finger) before putting flaps together, lining up at the vertices, then pressing for a few minutes till things dried. I had a flat glue spreader for when the space between got tight. With the last piece, I had to assemble on all four flaps at once, but that’s like putting a lid on a jar so just pressing down worked. The bristol board was stiff enough to provide the resistance I needed to press together with enough pressure for things to adhere and dry well. The fit was beautiful!

Bristol board works well for paper medium because it’s firm but not too thick so that the paper thickness can screw up things at the vertices. It’s cheap, has lots of colours, and one sheet of 22″ x 28″ cut up into six letter sized pages with two sides on each to make 12 sides, works perfectly. The white bristol board I got was 50 cents at the Dollar Store.

It takes a bit of patience and a little craftiness to do this, but it’s not overly difficult if I can do it. šŸ™‚

Come back Friday, or after Monday evening, if I forget to assemble the files of the dodecalendar together into one for quick and easy download.



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