After posting about Hexagaon-Flexagons on November 10 and November 16, I started working on making a template for teaching this tricky paper invention. Even though this structure is well covered on the net, what I want to add to the mix is something to make the folding easier.
When I’ve taught this structure the part that people have the hardest time with is creating precise folds. I made the instruction sheet above because it provides a way to create score lines so that the folding is easier.
Scoring is PRESSING lines onto paper, so to help facilitate folding. If a score line is firmly pressed into paper, it will fold easily on the score line. A pen that has no ink in it, or a paper clip, both make good scoring tools, as they will make a thin line. Bookbinders use bonefolders for scoring, but for this template I prefer a paper clip because it makes a thinner score line.
Here’s a picture of my daughter’s hand scoring my template. The template is on a firm but not hard surface: the surface ideally should have a bit of ‘give” so that it can be pressed into. (A stack of newspapers or a catalogue works well.) Place the ruler on the indicated line, holding it securing in place, then run the edge of the paper clip along the edge of the ruler. Press firmly, but not too hard, as you don’t want to rip through the paper. If you look closely at the image above you can see the the score lines that have already been pressed into the paper.
That’s about all I have to say for now. Hopefully the instruction sheet above clear enough to follow. If you want to print out template without the instructions, this is the a link to my non-annotated hexagon-flexagon .
And for some more inspiration, here’s a hexagon-flexagon decorated by Michele Gannon:
Now, here it is again, flexing….
….to next reveal the design that was formerly tucked inside:
addendum: Here are a couple of links to another person’s take on the hexagon-flexagon: http://plbrown.blogspot.com/2011/03/amazing-trihexaflexagon.html and http://plbrown.blogspot.com/2011/12/art-math-magic-its-trihexaflexagon.html
Addendum 3/12/2017: just came across another great flexagon resource! http://www.puzzles.com/hexaflexagon/activities.html