Upcycle Progress – Cardboard AE86

When I started my upcycle project, I knew I wanted to make a cardboard model of the AE86 from Initial D, but I wasn’t really sure about how to go about it. I was able to get some measurements by measuring a side view of the car, but I wasn’t sure how to go about properly dimensioning it in 3D. I knew that it wouldn’t make sense to just start cutting, so I made a model in SolidWorks to ensure the model would have have an appropriate width. In order to get an idea of the proper dimensions, I looked up the dimensions of the real car and used the ratio of length and width to find the appropriate width for my model’s length. Below are a few images of the CAD models.

Once I felt that the sides were properly spaced and it looked normal, I created a floor and roof piece to complete the shell. Not only did this give me a better idea of what the end product was going to look like, but I was also able to create a flat lay of the bent roof piece, which later allowed me to cut a perfect roof piece that fit well with the bends. Finally, I made models of the wheels to once again ensure proper dimensions.

I also made these models just in case I decided to laser cut the cardboard rather than hand cut, as DXFs are very easy to make based on CAD models. I ended up deciding to hand cut the pieces, so I had to figure out how I was going to get an outline on my material. I ended up simply cutting out the side view I used to make the model, as this would be more accurate than my crude model, and was more accessible to print. Right before I was about to cut the pieces out, I realized I had a white pizza box that would save me a lot of time coloring, so I moved my cutouts over to the new material and started cutting.

This was as far as I got for the time being, but I had a decent idea of how I was going to wrap it up moving forward.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Bryce Gallo
    May 2, 2021 10:47 pm

    Hi Thomas, I think this project is on its way to coming out great. I think it was very resourceful to use your pizza boxes as a natural white cardboard, and I was wondering if you were going to cut out all of your panels based on your 3D model, or if you were using it more for inspiration?

  • Amanda Tetrault
    April 26, 2021 7:45 pm

    Hi Thomas,
    I appreciate all the time and detail you put into your model. It was extra work in the beginning but will make the project easier in the long run. If you are able to master this process, you may have a perfect business. You could create and sell these models to schools for after-school projects. They can be considered STEM projects and kids love to build things, especially things that interest them such as specific car models.


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