Hexaflexagon Toolkit


Preparing Your Own Images
Creating Your Flexagon
Printing Your Flexagon
Folding Your Flexagon


Download the file hexaflexagon_XmasEdition.zip, then decompress as usual. Locate the decompressed file HexaflexagonXmasEdition.exe, then click on the file name to install the program. Click on I Agree and Install as each appears. Locate the file Hexaflexagon Toolkit.exe in C:/Program Files/Hexaflexagon Tookit, then drag it to your desktop creating a shortcut for easy access.

Preparing Your Own Images

When Hexaflexagon Toolkit creates a flexagon, each of six distinct images is squeezed or stretched until the ratio of the width to height is roughly 200:173. Then each image is trimmed to the shape of a regular hexagon and subdivided into six congruent equilateral triangles. If you use images with a 200:173 width to height ratio, there will be no image distortion. Images can be resized with Windows 7 Paint or Ultimate Paint (see below) or any other quality graphics program.

Windows 7 Paint

Open Paint by clicking the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Paint. Open the selected image file in the usual way. Use Zoom in and Zoom out on the View tab to see a larger or smaller view of the image and to ensure that the desired portion of the image is visable on the screen.

As usual, you can undo any step in what follows by using Ctrl-Z.

Use Cropon the Home tab to crop each image in turn so only the part you wish is visible.

Adjust each image precisely. Utimate Paint

To edit/crop your selected images, run Ultimate Paint, then Open each image file in turn. Use the information button  to reveal the image dimensions. Click on the Cut Area button  and then on the lower case "b" key to reveal the Cut Panel.

Enter X and Y sizes in the proportion 200:173. [The X size or dimension should be 1.156 times the Y dimension; the Y dimension should be 0.865 times the X dimension.] The revealed image dimensions should aid your initial selections. When the cursor is moved over the image, a rectangle with the selected dimensions will appear. Move your mouse over the image until the desired area is outlined. Edit the cut area dimensions as needed, always maintaining the 200:173 proportion. Remember that your rectangular image will be trimmed to a regular hexagon by the software. When done, click the left mouse button to select the desired area. Select Edit, then Copy. Select Edit again, then Paste as New. The cropped image will appear in a new window. Select File, then Save As. Save the cropped image using a unique name. Close all image files. Repeat for each image.

Creating Your Flexagon

Run Hexaflexagon Toolkit by clicking on its icon. You should see the beginning of a strip of 36 equilateral triangles in a special window. This is a Christmas template which you can print for practice and to which we will refer in the folding directions that follow.

Select Images and then Image1. Locate, select, then Open your first image. The 6 triangles in the strip of 36 equilateral triangles that comprise Image1 will be replaced by the 6 triangles that comprise your first image. You will see the replacement of the first of these triangles in the special window. If you wish, scroll through the window to examine the entire strip. Replace each of the other five images in turn.

When your strip of triangles is complete, rotate it by clicking on the 30º button, then increase the resolution of the eventual printout by clicking on the + button twice. Select File, then Export JPEG. Save your flexagon file to your hard drive (or to a diskette or flash drive) using a convenient name, say hexaflexagon.jpg. If each of your cropped images does not exceed 800 x 692 pixels, the flexagon file size will not exceed the capacity of a standard diskette.

Printing Your Flexagon

Windows 7 users should access Paint as before. Select File, and then Open. Locate the flexagon file, then double click on the file name to open it. Select File, and then Print. When the usual options appear, select Print Setup. Change the Page Size to legal. Leave the Orientation as Landscape. The image does not have to be centered to print appropriately (although you may center it vertically if you wish). Scaling should indicate Fit to 1 Page (the default setting). Click OK. Select File, and then Print.

Ultimate Paint users should select File, and then Open. Locate the flexagon file, then double click on the file name to open it. Select File, and then Print. Change the Page Orientation to Landscape. Click on Properties, then adjust the paper size to legal in the usual way. Click on OK, then change the Width to 13" (the length will change proportionately when the file is printed as long as Keep Aspect Ratio is checked), then click on Print.

Folding Your Flexagon

You may wish to practice folding a flexagon by exporting, saving, and printing the unedited Xmas template that appears in the special window when you open Hexaflexagon Toolkit. The instructions that follow will refer to that printout.

Cut out the printed shape. Fold it in half lengthwise. You should now have a single-triangle-wide strip printed on both sides. Align the strip as shown below. The back side of the left-hand end of the strip should be GLUE X.

Fold the top two triangles away from you (to the rear), along the broken line in the figure on the left below. The left-hand end of the strip should look like the figure on the right below.
Fold the top portion away from you, along the broken line in the figure on the left below. Again, the left-hand end of the strip should look like the figure on the right below.
Folding away from you along the broken line in the figure on the left below should leave you with the figure on the right below. Fold top sections away from you along the broken lines.
Continue in this manner, folding two triangles at a time, until you once again have a single strip. The two sides of the strip should look like the top and bottom rows of the figure below. If you're having trouble, the folds in this section should all be the same way, a wrapping pattern rather than a zigzag.
Flip the flexagon so you're looking at the bottom row of the figure above. Fold the right-hand side away from you along the broken line. Orient the flexagon so it is in position shown below. Check the bottom right triangle to ensure it matches the image.
Fold the top section away from you in the usual way. You should now have a nearly complete picture as shown below on the left. Underneath the lower-left triangle (it will be the only one that is not from the first image) you will see the other end of the strip with the second glue tab on it. Lift it up and over the aforementioned lower-left triangle. The two glue triangles should be next to each other as shown below on the right.
Fold the left glue tab over and stick it to the other one with rubber cement or a glue stick. When dry, flex away in the usual way!

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