flexagons

07 Dec 2013

Flexagons were created by the late Martin Gardner. Having made tri-hexaflexagons with a class recently, I asked students to colour one side red, one amber and the last one green so that they could use them in future lessons for AfL.

creating a tri-hexaflexagon

tri-hexaflexagons have 3 distinct sides. In order for the flexagons to “flex” each step needs to be completed as accurately as possible.

step 1

Download and print out the template. Cut around the outside then make a sharp fold along each line, making sure to fold both forwards and backwards. Orient the template as follows.

step1

step 2

Fold the three marked triangles towards you to make the following:

step2

step 3

Leave the next two triangles, then make a fold away from you as follows:

step3

step 4

Pick up the the piece that was just folded backwards and lift it to the front:

step4

step 5

Turn over the flexagon and glue down the remaining tab before colouring it in. Patterns work best when drawn to the centre points of each triangle. The following patterns work well. The thick line represents the three “flaps” on each face.

rectangles delta star

flexing

To flex the flexagon, pinch one of the flaps with the hand you write with whilst simultaneously pushing the opposite fold with your other hand. You should then be able to open up the middle to reveal the missing side. With practice and a bit of use the flexagons should flex easily.