The first time I’d heard the term “kaleidocycle” was in the Doris Schattschneider’s M. C. Escher Kaleidocycles—a cut out book of three-dimensional, rotating models that I was given some years ago.
Not wanting to cut up my book, I never constructed any kaleidocycles at the time, but the photo on the right shows what one of them looks like.
The “FlipFood Lunchbox” above, designed by Ilias Markolefas and Nathalia Martinez Saavedra, is a kaleidocycle.
(A video and more, after the fold…)
These rotating rings of connected tetrahedrons are usually seen as polyhedral models or puzzle toys. The animate gif on the left is a folding paper toy from minieco. (A nice abstract alternative to the M.C. Escher iconography usually associated with kaleidocycles.)
But as a three-dimensional form there was always the potential for the kaleidocycle to contain something. The idea of the “Flip Food Lunchbox” is that it’s a kaleidocyclical package, designed to contain lunch.
Personally, I think their procedure of cutting out the paper, scoring and decorating it by hand seems a bit labor-intensive, but I like the simple way it opens, allowing food to be tucked into each tetrahedral chamber.
Seeing tetrahedrons connected in this way, I’m reminded of Ruben Rausing’s Tetra-Pak (classic), which were similarly connected in a chain during manufacture, but then cut apart. It would be easy to make a kaleidocyclical package from a chain of Tetra-Paks, similar to the Chained Tetrahedral Portion Packs that we looked at a couple of years ago.
For the right product category this could be a very novel and appealing package. Maybe something for kids, where the package could be kept as a toy?
Or maybe jewelry?
See also: Gumball Puzzle Cube Packaging