If you like fossilized animal skulls, need something to decorate your dwelling place, and have quite a bit of time to spare, this giant papercraft wooly mammoth skull could be a good candidate for your next project. Ryan Sweeny decided to make this project to help fill the “huge empty wall in [his] apartment.” He wanted to “try something big, complex, and a little bit crazy.” From the results and process in the gallery below, I’d say he definitely succeeded!
Sweeny, who has completed several papercraft projects before this one, began with a model from Thingiverse, then simplified it in Meshlab. This model’s polygons were then scaled and arranged in a program called PePaKuRa to be cut out for folding and gluing.
Even this “simplified” model ended up producing around 240 pieces of individual paper cutouts from 50 sheets of printed A4-sized paper. After folding these pieces, this came out to around 2000 faces, or “polygons.” The project took Sweeny a month to put together, and he estimates that he put around 60 hours of time into it during that period.
If you look through the whole gallery, the scale of this thing is really evident towards the end, where it is shown sitting on his desk. “Sitting” on the desk really doesn’t describe it, however, more like “hanging off of it,” as there is not nearly enough room there to contain the full assembly.
Sweeny, who now teaches English in South Korea, notes that “Papercrafting has been a great way for me to stay creative while limited by my location. Living in Korea, a lack of tools, workspaces, and the language barrier keep me from my real passion of woodworking. Paper is cheap, the tools minimal, and I can work with it quietly in my own apartment — I’m only limited by the models I can find.”