Cardboardizer is a slick new piece of CAD software that’s being developed by the C Design Lab at Purdue University. It’s meant to reduce the time it takes to go from a three-dimensional digital shape to, say, a walking, chomping mechanical beast.
The process certainly seems simple enough. You start by importing a 3D shape, and then you use Cardboardizer to define the areas that you want to articulate — as well as their axes of motion. The software then takes over, slicing sections out of your 3D model to create a series of two-dimensional pieces that snap easily together to form the finished object — in this case, a T-rex.
Its creators say that anyone can figure out how to use Cardboardizer in a few minutes. Assuming you’ve got the required equipment (like a laser cutter or a CNC machine), producing patterns is a can be cut from just about any material that’s rigid enough to do the job: plastic, wood, metal, acrylic… you name it.
Cardboardizer’s clever cutouts compliment another Purdue project called Ziro. It’s a robotics kit that’s being crowdfunded over on IndieGoGo right now, and they say that it can breathe life into creations like these in mere minutes. Creations like this awesome R2-D2, which looks like it just might have been the product of a Cardboardizer/Ziro collaboration.