How to Reassemble Your Buckyballs into a Cube

--  Jun 29th, 2012 22:59

Hello everyone! In this Instructable, you will learn how to turn your pile of Buckyballs into a perfect cube.

Things you need:
Buckyballs (Hopefully you'll have at least 216. That's how many I have.)
That's it! Follow along to create your own perfect cube!

Step1 Collect your Buckyballs


Make sure you have all of your Buckyballs. Your cube will not form correctly if you don't have all of them. If you are missing some, you can opt to make a smaller cube or go out and buy more. In this Instructable, however, I will be making a 6x6x6 cube.

Step 2 Making the Pieces

From your pile, count out strings of 12 balls. When you get to 12, remove them from the pile and make a circle, like in the picture.
If you have exactly as many as you need, you will make 18 little circles. Place them apart so that they don't attract each other.
They are pretty stable, magnetically, so they shouldn't be too much trouble. You don't need to make all 18 circles right now. You can start with two and make more, once you get the hang of the next step.

Step 3  Make Similar,But Different,Pieces


Now that you have your strings of 12 Buckyballs, we need to turn them into pieces that we can connect.
Take one string and squish it together on one end, making sure it turns into a two by six piece, like in the picture above.
They won't be perfectly straight, and that's okay! Don't worry. It'll be fine. Make as many as you can into these shapes, and don't let them touch! It'll be pretty tough to get them apart successfully. If you mess up, just make the circle again and start over.
Once you've made all of these, proceed.

step 4 time to Start Connecting

In this step, we are going to make larger rectangle pieces.
Lay two pieces next to each other so that their long sides are next to each other. Keep them apart at first, and slowly bring them together. If you feel any resistance from the magnetism, STOP. Bring them apart and flip one upside-down. Bring them together again and they should snap together like they were meant to be.
As in the last step, they won't be perfectly rectangular, and this is fine. Do not fret. If you get a shape like the upper figure, you can try to rescue them. Do this by using your orange box they came in and separating them down the split.
If that doesn't work, start again with the circles and try again.

Step 5 Time to Connect Some More

We're going to start making something that looks almost like a cube.

Take your pieces from the last step, one in each hand, and bring their edges together, slowly. If you feel any resistance from the magnetism, stop and flip one over.

Once they are connected, flip one of top of the other, to create a stack. You can either make a stack of six using this method, or you can make two stacks of three, or three stacks of two. Any way you do it is fine.

Once you have a figure that looks like picture 2, you can continue.

Step 6 Time to Put the Squeeze On

Now we need to turn this figure into a solid rectangular prism. Set it up like in the picture above, and gently squeeze the top down so that it snaps together, being careful not to push too hard. If you do it correctly, there should be no big gaps like before.

Once you have completed this task, you can move on. If something bad happens, you may have to start over.

Step 7 Almost There!It's Almost Like a Cube!

As you can see in the picture above, I have the squished figure from the last step, which is figure A, and the remaining balls in figures B and C.

Now we need to make the last two levels. In the same way as before, create three more of the squarish shapes, like in the bottom of the picture. ONLY connect two of them together. Leave one of them alone.

Take the larger of the two leftover pieces, figure C, and squish it together to the balls are compacted. Now, after this step, we are so close to being done.

Take the piece you just made, and very carefully place it on the top of figure A. It should look like the five picture. Now take figure B (the only remaining piece) and fold it in half so that it looks like figure B in the five picture.

Carefully, place this figure inside the crevice of figure A. If you were successful, it should be a perfect cube. If you messed up somewhere, don't be afraid to try again! Experiment with different shapes to see what you can make!

If you made it- congratulations! You've made your cube! Isn't it so cool?